• GILBERT P. BAYORAN
The Armed Forces of the Philippines Visayas Command (VISCOM) yesterday reported that the communist New People’s Army in the Visayas region, especially in Negros Island, has suffered another major blow, as the terrorist group starts the month of March with significant losses.
In a statement, VISCOM reported that 28 NPA members have been neutralized, five of whom died in gun battles, 22 surrendered, while another one was apprehended, in Visayas.
Four of them were killed on March 1, as a result of an encounter in Himamaylan City, Negros Occidental, that also resulted in the recovery of two M-16 rifles attached with two M203 grenade launchers, two AK-47 assault rifles and a hand grenade, among other war materials.
The VISCOM also reported that a total of 22 firearms owned by rebels were also recovered in the same period.
Lt. Gen. Benedict Arevalo, VISCOM commander, commended the troops for their unyielding effort in totally eradicating the menace of the CPP – NPA in the Visayas region.
“We continue to gain grounds against the CPP–NPA, as more of their members either fall to the long arms of justice or yield to the government troops.” Arevalo said.*