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Philippine Army chief sees ‘meltdown’ NPA by June

by Echo Park Community Coalition (EPCC) Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2010 at 10:25 AM
epccla02@yahoo.com 818-749-0272 1740 W. Temple St. Los Angeles, Ca 90026

The EPCC NEWS today learned that the military on Monday said it has been well on track to defeating the communist insurgency within 2010, with the string of successes against the New People's Army across the country, causing the "meltdown" of rebel forces. According to the EPCC, in a speech to the army camp in Davao province in Mindanao, Army Lt. General Delfin Bangit, Philippine Army chief, said the military has been able to deal significant blows against the NPA, trimming down Asia's longest-running Maoist insurgency "into smaller formations." Bangit was in Davao del Norte Monday to personally thank and reward soldiers for "back-to-back victories" against the NPA in Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental provinces in a week.

Philippine Army chie...
dsc_0197.jpg, image/jpeg, 3008x2000

EPCC NEWS

February 9, 2010

Philippine Army chief sees ‘meltdown’ NPA by June

Los Angeles- The EPCC NEWS today learned that the military on Monday said it has been well on track to defeating the communist insurgency within 2010, with the string of successes against the New People's Army across the country, causing the "meltdown" of rebel forces.

According to the EPCC, in a speech to the army camp in Davao province in Mindanao, Army Lt. General Delfin Bangit, Philippine Army chief, said the military has been able to deal significant blows against the NPA, trimming down Asia's longest-running Maoist insurgency "into smaller formations."

Bangit was in Davao del Norte Monday to personally thank and reward soldiers for "back-to-back victories" against the NPA in Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental provinces in a week.

AFP Propaganda

"From a high of about 25,000 fighters, we have reduced them to a little over 4,000. Very clearly, we have already achieved the point that the PNP (Philippine National Police) can now take over (the internal security operations)," Bangit told reporters.

The army chief said the nationwide anti-insurgency campaigns have been gaining, with some areas' internal security already handed to the police. He cited two districts each of Laguna, Batangas and Marinduque provinces in Luzon, and of Misamis Oriental in Mindanao, as places where the police have taken over security matters.

Bangit acknowledged that eliminating the NPA "to zero" would be impossible for now, and that the military objective has not been to kill rebels.

"We have to win people (back to the fold of law). That's the military's newest weapon: winning hearts and minds," he said.

AFP Target: "NPA Wiped-Out by 2010"?

Bangit said he was "very hopeful peace could be achieved by June," coinciding with the end of President Macapagal-Arroyo’ term of office.

Bangit is a protogee and a loyal GMA AFP officer. Political analyst his assumption into the office of the AFP Chief of Staff (AFP CS) is a prelude to more GMA machinations this coming May 2010 elections.

Boosting AFP's sagging morale

The Army chief himself pinned medals to two junior officers and about a dozen enlisted personnel from the Special Forces and 28th Infantry Battalions who had figured in encounters against NPA rebels in Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental, respectively.

During the program held at the 3rd Special Forces Battalion in Barangay (village) San Isidro here, Bangit also promoted Col. Arnulfo Palmea of the Army national headquarters support command to the next higher rank, brigadier general.

Among the awardees was 2Lt. Marcelino de Jesus, who, leading a team of Special Forces, fought a band of rebels in Laak town on Jan. 30, killing three guerrillas and capturing the rebel group's young leader, Elizalde Cañete alias Ka (Comrade) Jinggoy.

Some of the cited troops were given "on-the-spot promotions."

"This is an outstanding accomplishment; a proof that our anti-insurgency campaign is moving forward. This is also to show that the army is taking responsibility of the welfare of its sons. I'm here to personally let you know that we take pride of your accomplishment," the army general said.

AFP-Non-Partisan or pro-GMA?

Bangit also reiterated his directive to soldiers against participating in partisan politics.

"The Army won't allow and won't tolerate its members campaigning for or against politicians or party-list groups," Bangit stressed.

Soldiers' actions during the entire election season were limited by the mandate of the Commission on Elections, said Col. Daniel Lucero, army civil-military affairs deputy chief.

"We want to drumbeat that we are serious against participating in partisan politics. The Army is the biggest beneficiary of a credible election," Lucero said.

Bangit said the military has been supporting efforts to hold credible polls and that the support would take in the form of advocacies "urging civilians and other sectors to work for an honest election."

"The PTC (permit-to-campaign) fees collected by the NPA from candidates and politicians undermine the democratic process, and we don't want our democratic process trampled on," Bangit said.

But political analyst according to EPCC NEWS that the AFP made such prouncements.

"The AFP knows they cannot defeat the NPA. Marcos was able to do it in his 20-year reign. Aquino tried it when she "unsheated the sword of war and launched Oplan LAMBAT BITAG from 1987 to 1992. How much for GMA who ruled for nine years and want to last eternally?

*******

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