BRINK OF COLLAPSE. Eastern Mindanao Command (Eastmincom) chief, Lt. Gen. Greg Almerol, says Tuesday (Sept. 27, 2022) the New People’s Army guerrilla units in the regions of Northern Mindanao, Davao, and Caraga are on the brink of collapse with the deaths, arrests, and surrender of their top leaders this month. The Eastmincom also vowed to dismantle the remaining guerrilla fronts of the NPA in Caraga. (Photo grabbed from Eastmincom Facebook page)

BUTUAN CITY – The communist New People’s Army (NPA) in most parts of Mindanao is critically declining due to the deaths, arrests, and surrender of their top leaders, the Eastern Mindanao Command (Eastmincom) said Tuesday.

Lt. Gen. Greg Almerol, the Eastmincom chief, hailed Army troopers in the regions of Caraga, Davao, and Northern Mindanao for the series of neutralization of NPA leaders and the dismantling of an NPA guerrilla front this month.

“Forty-five NPA members, including high-value individuals, have surrendered, while others were arrested, captured, or killed this month alone by the units under the 10th Infantry Division (ID) and the 4ID,” Almerol said in a statement.

At least 40 high-powered firearms of various calibers and three anti-personnel mines were also recovered during the period, he said.

Of the three top NPA leaders killed during the period, two were in the Caraga, including Noel Alacre, the commanding officer of Platoon 2, Guerrilla Front (GF) 30, and Rolando Leyson Jr., the secretary of GF 16, both of the NPA's North Eastern Mindanao Regional Committee.

Another NPA leader, Vincent Isagani Madlos, was slain during an encounter with government troops in Barangay Kapitan Bayong, Impasug-ong, Bukidnon on Sept. 3.

Madlos’s wife, Angie Salinas, who served as the secretary of the National Communications Bureau of the Communist Party of the Philippines-NPA-National Operations Command, was also killed during the encounter.

Two top NPA leaders also yielded to the Army this month, including Badong Lipanda, the commanding officer of Platoon Banglas, Sub-Regional Committee (SRC) 3, and Raquel Dahoyla, the secretary of SRC 5, both of the North Central Mindanao Regional Committee.

On Sept. 10, another top leader, Nenita Generalao Dolera, the secretary of GF19, SRC Southland of NEMRC, was nabbed in Surigao City.

Almerol said the Eastmincom also approved the dismantling of GF18 after the government troops neutralized its remaining members and the recovery of war matériel during the series of armed confrontations this month in Lupon and Banaybanay in Davao Oriental province.

He noted that GF18 has weakened since Nov. 2021 with the surrender of its two top leaders.

“We are also eyeing the dismantling of other NPA units in Northern Mindanao and the Caraga Region following the series of neutralization of its top-ranking leaders and the capture of its remaining war matériel,” Almerol said.

He said Eastmincom has dismantled 28 out of 33 NPA guerrilla fronts since 2017.

Of the five remaining guerrilla fronts, he said one is still operating in Region 12 while four are in the Caraga Region. (PNA)