The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Iloilo City believes the clout of the New People’s Army (NPA) in mountainous villages in Panay and Negros areas has weakened.
AFP 3rd Infantry Division (3ID) Public Information Officer 1st Lt. Mark Andrew Posadas reported that some communities have gone a step further and denounced the NPA’s presence in their villages.
According to Posadas, these included communities of Linantuyan, Negros Oriental and Igbaras, Iloilo as well as some villages in Tapaz, Capiz. The small pockets of insurgents are now limited in a few barrios within these provinces in Western Visayas, he said.
The NPA elements in the region are in near collapse due to the peace programs of local agencies and the intensive work of the soldiers and authorities, he pointed out.
Likewise, NPA principles are no longer welcomed in these communities, said Posada.
The AFP also attributed the downward trend of NPA sympathy to the increased activity in economy and education in the region. The AFP would continue to be the bridge between the communities and the government in providing projects and developments.
The army hopes the NPA will have a change of heart because the AFP is ready to talk peace. The public has more confidence in the AFP to strictly adhere to a ceasefire and peace process, he said. (PNA) /MP