A total of 42 communist rebels were killed while 53 more were arrested in an aggressive military campaign against the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) since January this year.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) also reported that a total of 277 communist rebels have surrendered and 728 supporters have also withdrawn their support from January to June this year.
“The AFP gained substantial accomplishments for the past months. Despite this, we must endeavour to continue our momentum to achieve more meaningful milestones,” said AFP chief of staff General Cirilito Sobejana after a command conference which will be his last as he is set to retire on July 31.
“The remaining months this year shall be our final push to decisively defeat the local terrorist and communist terrorist groups,” he added.
The Command Conference, attended by top defense officials including Secretary of National Defense Delfin Lorenzana and senior military officers, opened with a “Salute to the Fallen” in honor of soldiers who died in line of duty this year.
Sobejana also called for a moment of silence and prayer for those killed in and survivors of the recent C-130 mishap.
During the conference, the military said a total of 730 assorted firearms and 140 anti-personnel mines were also seized.
On the other hand, AFP operations against local terrorist groups also yielded significant gains from May to June.
This includes the 114 Abu Sayyaf Group members; 124 Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters; and 40 Dawlah Islamiyah who were all either killed, captured, or have surrendered.
In response, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana also gave his guidance as he congratulated the AFP for its accomplishments and thanked the military for its support in the administration’s peace and development programs.
He also urged the AFP to further enhance organizational efficiency and operational excellence and called for improved readiness to perform multi-role functions, while ensuring the sustained physical and emotional well-being of personnel.
“Continue to exercise prudence and accountability in our resource programming,” said Lorenzana.