Almost 200 NPAs neutralized in South Luzon - military

Posted at 06/17/2012 5:30 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Government forces were able to neutralize 195 members of the New People’s Army (NPA) in Southern Luzon from January to May this year.

In a briefing paper, the Armed Forces Southern Luzon Command said this is part of the Internal Security Plan (ISP) Bayanihan, which is the military’s blueprint for peace.

Of the 195 rebels, 33 were slain, while 78 have been captured. Some 85, on the other hand, have surrendered.

The number includes Tirso Alcantara, a top NPA leader in Southern Tagalog, who was nabbed by government troops in Lucena City on January 5.

The military also claimed operations led to the liberation of some 45 barangays, allegedly taken hostage by the Reds.

Security forces were also able to recover 154 firearms from the rebels.

Lt. Gen. Roland Detabali said they hope to clear Southern Luzon of insurgents by 2013 or 2014. On the other hand, they want to snatch back from the NPAs the province of Quezon by the end of the year.

"The objective of military operations is to neutralize (the) local armed terrorist group, weaken leadership, deny sanctuaries and traditional base areas and curb extortion and resource generation (by the rebels)," the report added.