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NPA getting stronger in Negros: spox

BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN

The Apolinario Gatmaitan Command of the New People’s Army in Negros Island marked the 52nd founding anniversary of the Communist Party of the Philippines on Dec. 26, by honoring its former comrades, who offered their lives to advance the armed struggle.

Ka Juanito Magbanua, spokesperson of the command, in a statement he issued, said that they honored Ka Reymond, Ka Redo, Ka Marmar, Ka Javar, Ka Dennise, Ka Leo, Ka Junjun, Ka Joy and Ka Lakas, for their contributions to the armed struggle.

Magbanua disputed military allegations that the NPA in Negros is on the brink of collapse, as indicated by the arrests of many of their members, those who surrendered or were killed in gun battles, and the declaration of the NPA as persona non grata by many local government units.

He maintained that not a single NPA guerilla front had been dismantled in Negros Island.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines Central Command reported earlier that the NPA South East Front was already dismantled, and two of its seven armed remnants died in a gun battle with 11th Infantry Battalion soldiers on Dec. 24 in Siaton, Negros Oriental.

There are still four NPA guerilla fronts in Negros up for dismantling by the 302nd and 303rd infantry brigades that supervise five Army battalions, it said. Despite the focused operations of the military against them, Magbanua claimed they were able to consolidate their forces.*

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