Army chief sees ‘imminent, complete’ dismantling of CPP-NPA

At a glance

  • The Philippine Army celebrated its 126th founding anniversary on Wednesday, March 22.

  • Army chief Lt. Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr. said the "complete dismantling" of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and New People's Army (NPA) is "imminent."

  • Photo: Lt. Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr., commanding general of Philippine Army / (RTVM livestream)

The 53-year-long insurgency being waged by the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA), is nearing its end, Philippine Army (PA) Commanding General Lt. Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr. said Wednesday, March 22.

Brawner, who spoke before the presence of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.  during the PA 126th founding anniversary at the Army headquarters in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City, said the days of the communist groups and its remaining guerilla fronts are now numbered due to the military's relentless intelligence-driven operations nationwide.

“Then as now, your Army continues to evolve always in step with the demands of the times. We remain resolute in our dedication to secure the peace and protect our sovereignty. Our endeavors in the last year manifest the very same spirit of service as we work tirelessly to achieve organizational gains and operational milestones,” Brawner said.

“Most of these are in the intelligence-driven military operations against communists and local terrorist groups where we see the imminent, complete dismantling of the remaining guerilla fronts,” he added.

In November 2022, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said there were 24 remaining NPA guerilla fronts operating in the country. At the time, the AFP estimated the number of communist rebels at 2,100 and their firearms at 1,800.

Nineteen of these groups had been considered as “weakened fronts” due to the arrest, surrender, or killing of their commanders, rendering them unable to launch offensives.

Brawner said the “whole-of-nation” approach in solving the decades-old problem of insurgency resulted to the voluntary surrender of thousands of former rebels and their eventual reintegration to the mainstream society.

Meanwhile, the Army chief said that PA personnel have leveled up its cooperation with allied armies from other countries. 

Among these are the Salaknib Exercise, a bilateral Army-to-Army exercise between the Philippines and United States that is currently being held in the country, and the Balikatan Exercise, another joint training with the US military, which is slated next month.

He said such endeavors will help in the ongoing modernization program of the PA to sustain their operations amid their shifting focus from internal security operations to territorial defense.

The PA was established on March 22, 1897 as a revolutionary organization during the secret meetings of the Katipunan at the Tejeros Convention.

The theme for this year’s month-long anniversary celebration was “Army@126: Strong, United and Reliable,” which is “geared towards achieving a world-class, multi-mission ready and cross-domain capable Army in the service of the Filipino people.”