CAMP MELCHOR F DELA CRUZ, Gamu, Isabela – At least three New People’s Army (NPA) rebel groups operating in Cagayan Valley Region and the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) have already been dismantled due to the continuing intense military operations, according to Fifth Infantry Division (5ID) Spokesperson Maj. Noriel D. Tayaban.
The dismantled NPA’s groups were the Southern Front Committee of Komiteng Rehiyon Cagayan Valley (SFC-KRCV) operating in the southern part of Isabela, the Central Front Committee of Komiteng Rehiyon Cagayan Valley (CFC-KRCV) operating in Cagayan, and the Komiteng Larangang Gerilya – Ifugao (KLG-IFUGAO) of the Ilocos-Cordilleral Regional Committee (ICRC) operating in Ifugao province.
Tayaban attributed the downgrading of the NPA groups in Cagayan Valley Region and CAR to the all-out cooperation of the residents.
As of press time, Tayaban said that there were still four NPA fronts with a few members operating in their areas of responsibility (AOR).
Of these remaining NPAs fronts, two are operating in CAR, and the other two fronts are operating in Cagayan Valley.
“These four remaining NPAs fronts are subject to the continuous army operations,” said Tayaban.
During the visit of Philippine Army chief, Lieutenant Gen. Cirilito E. Sobejana at Camp Melchor F. Dela Cruz, Gamu, Isabela on Friday, 5ID Commander Brig. Gen. Laurence E. Mina reported the significant reduction of the NPA rebels’ manpower and firepower, and the cutting of their mass base support systems in their AOR.
“The surrender of the NPA rebels and their supporters to us continues while we assured them the giving of their assistance and benefits from the government’s enhanced comprehensive livelihood integration program,” said Mina.
Mina also toured Sobejana at the “Happy Farm Ville” that accommodates the 56 former rebels (FRs) from Isabela, who formed part of the Salaknib Former Rebels Integrated Farmers’ Association (SFRIFA).
The transitional program for the FRs integrates farming activities through the initiative of the 95th Infantry Battalion and 502nd Infantry Brigade, in cooperation with Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), local government units (LGUs), and the Department of Agriculture (DA) of Isabela.
Happy Farm Ville serves as the temporary halfway house for the FRs and their families while they wait for their E-CLIP benefits being processed by the Provincial E-CLIP Committee of Isabela.