Only two out of the 22 remaining communist guerilla fronts in the country continue to be active, the National Security Council (NSC) said Sunday.
In a Super Radyo dzBB interview, NSC spokesperson Assistant Director General Jonathan Malaya said 20 guerilla fronts had weakened.
However, several still had access to firearms and other weapons, so attacks were still possible.
“‘Pag sinabing weakened, nauubusan na sila ng barangay o tinatawag na mass base. Doon kasi sila kumukuha ng lakas, sa suporta ng mga taga-barangay… Itong 20 na naiwan, mayroon pa ring may mga hawak na armas,” Malaya said.
(When we say weakened, they are running out of barangays or a mass base. That's where they get their strength, from the support of the villagers... The remaining 20 guerrilla fronts, some still have weapons.)
“Ito ‘yung binabantayan natin para mawala na at mahuli na. Hindi ibig sabihin na hindi na sila pwedeng mag-atake... Asahan natin na meron pa ring mga pag-atake pero ‘yung dati nilang formation, ‘yung nakakapag-organize sila ng 20 [hanggang] 40 katao, wala na ‘yun,” he continued.
(We are monitoring them to eliminate and arrest them. It doesn't mean that they can't attack anymore... Let's expect that there will still be attacks, but their previous formation, when they could organize 20 up to 40 people, that's already gone.)
According to Malaya, the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) had also cleared over 2,000 barangays from the influence of communist terrorist groups (CTG).
Around 400 barangays, meanwhile, were still controlled by CTGs.
“Nag-commit talaga ang military na tatapusin ngayong taon. Very, very hopeful sila na matatapos lahat ng guerilla fronts, mawe-weaken sila at eventually mawi-wipeout natin,” he said.
(The military was committed to ending things this year. They are very, very hopeful that all the guerilla fronts will be finished. We will weaken them and wipe them out eventually.)
With more barangays to be placed under the NTF-ELCAC’s peace and development monitoring, Malaya said he hopes Congress would allocate the funding needed to support the affected communities to address the root cause of the insurgency. — DVM, GMA Integrated News