With public support, we could crush rebels: military spox

By Priam Nepomuceno

October 18, 2018, 1:26 pm

MANILA -- With the support of the Filipino people, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said it could quash the insurgency put up by the Communist Party of the Philippines - New People's Army (CPP-NPA).

"The AFP’s resolve, with the support of the people and the cooperation of other agencies of government, will neutralize this terrorist group by next year," military spokesperson Brig. Gen. Edgard Arevalo said in statement Wednesday.

Arevalo made the comment after CPP founder Jose Maria "Joma" Sison claimed that the NPA does not have the capability to oust President Rodrigo Duterte and that the Chief Executive's removal is dependent on the public outcry and the support of the military.

The CPP-NPA has been tagged as the brains behind the "Red October" ouster plot that was expected to start on October 17. This, however, fizzled out due to the military's move to make public the looming threat.

"They could not -- with the number of NPA regulars and supporters surrendering in droves, with their firearms, (it) is phenomenal," the AFP spokesperson said.

He added that due to the mass surrenders, NPA guerrilla fronts are being dismantled and downgraded, and high-ranking leaders are being neutralized in succession.

From January to Oct. 10 this year, more than 9,795 regular members of the CPP-NPA, Militia ng Bayan, underground organization members, and mass base supporters have surrendered nationwide. The bulk, or 8,665, of the surrenderers came from Eastern Mindanao.

A total of 1,344 assorted firearms have also been seized from the NPA, further limiting its capability to launch attacks against the government and private businesses.

"With their evil designs uncovered, and the people and groups targeted for recruitment have backed out or dissociated from them, the CPP-NPA now feigns innocence, saying they do not have the capability to oust the President," Arevalo said. (PNA)