BUTUAN CITY – At least 511 members of the communist New People’s Army (NPA) have surrendered to the various field units in the Caraga Region this year, according to the Police Regional Office in Caraga (PRO-13) on Friday.
Likewise, PRO-13 said 147 other NPA combatants – some holding high positions in the rebel organization – were also captured by the police during the period.
A total of 225 firearms of different calibers were also either surrendered or seized from the rebels.
In a statement Friday (Dec. 30), PRO-13 Director, Brig. Gen. Pablo Labra II said the arrest and surrender of NPA combatants in the region are the result of the continuous internal security operations by the local police units in the region.
“The PRO-13 was able to conduct 126 major combat operations, 241 minor combat operations, and 62 joint operations with the Armed Forces of the Philippines this year,” Labra said.
Intensified police law operations this year also dismantled the underground movements of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP)–NPA in Caraga and prevented its resurgence to protect the communities.
“This year marked the decline of the CPP-NPA activities in the region, Labra said, pointing out that three NPA guerrilla fronts (GFs) were weakened – Guerrilla Fronts 16, 21, and 30.
Three GFs and two sub-regional committees (SRCs) in Caraga were also dismantled this year, particularly GFs 4A, 88, and 19, and SRCs 1 and 3.
Police operatives also managed to arrest top rebel leaders, Dr. Maria Natividad Silva Castro, also known as Dr. Maria Natividad and "Alias Yam," as well as Atheliana Hijos alias "Ka Atel."
Natividad, considered as a priority target, is an alleged member of the CPP Central Committee and heads the group’s National Health Bureau, while Hijos is Gabriela’s secretary-general in the region.
The PRO-13 vowed to continue the fight against the CPP-NPA in 2023 to fully free the region from communist cruelties. (PNA)
511 NPA fighters yield, 147 captured by Caraga cops in ‘22