NPA claims membership up

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Monday, March 30, 2015


THE New People's Army (NPA) in Negros Island claims that its numbers have increased as the communist group marked its 46th anniversary yesterday.

Ka Estrella Banagbanag, spokesperson of the Rachelle Mae Palang Command (RMPC) Southeast Front, said in a press statement that NPA units in southeast Negros have “successfully preserved themselves and gradually but surely increasing the numbers of its Red fighters from the ranks of struggling peasant masses, workers, and educated youth.”

“The officials of 302nd Brigade (of the Philippine Army) are dreaming in broad daylight in claiming that they have decisively weakened and reduced to being insignificant or inconsequential the revolutionary forces in Southeast Negros,” Banagbanag said.

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The Southeast Front condemned the military's Oplan Bayanihan for masquerading as “peace and development teams” doing “community organizing” work.

It said Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr.'s Negros First agenda, and the “one island, one region” projects worsened the condition of the masses.

Armed Forces spokesperson Brig. Gen. Joselito Kakilala yesterday denied that the NPA’s membership has increased, saying rebel force is on the decline as the development projects of the government in the countryside gain momentum.

"We can foresee their downfall as long as development will come in and we will have economic growth and prosperity to every Filipino. In the years to come, the NPA will be irrelevant as foreseen by the Internal Peace and Security Program ‘Bayanihan’ strategy," Kakilala said.

The military places the overall NPA strength at 4,000. (With reports from PNA)

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on March 30, 2015.

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