BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
The Philippine Army’s 3rd Infantry Division reported that it has dismantled two New People’s Army guerilla fronts in Negros Island, with another soon to follow.
Maj. Cenon Pancito III, spokesperson of the 3rd Infantry Division, said yesterday that they were able to dismantle the South East and Northern Negros Fronts of the Komiteng Rehiyonal-Negros/Cebu/Bohol/Siquijor (KR-NCBS), in the past year.
Eighty-four far-flung communities in Western and Central Visayas have also been liberated from the influence of the CPP-NPA-NDF, Pancito said.
The KR-NCBS had earlier issued a statement strongly debunking military claims of having dismantled its South East Front guerilla unit.
Pancito said that 40 to 60 NPA fighters compose a guerilla front, but they were able to reduce their armed strength to less than 15 fighters.
While he admitted that there are still NPA remnants operating in the northern and southeast portions of Negros Island, Pancito said they are more focused on recovering their areas, and avoiding armed skirmishes with government troops.
They shift to political work, and building alliances again, and recruiting new fighters, based on documents recovered by Army troops, following encounters with the NPA, he added.
Maj. Gen. Eric Vinoya, 3ID commander, said they were able to induce numerous surrenders of both guerilla members and supporters of the CPP-NPA. From January to April 28 this year, the 3ID infantry units stationed in Negros, Panay, and Bohol had conducted 57 operations that resulted in the killing of 15 NPA rebels, capture of two others, and seizure of 24 high-powered firearms.*