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Task force says NPA presses armed attacks

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The New People’s Army (NPA) continues to stage attacks, targeting various development projects of the government aimed at improving the quality of life in formerly rebel-controlled barangays, the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) said on Monday.

In an online press briefing, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) director Rene Valera, who heads the agency’s Project Development Services, said military and police units have foiled at least 10 NPA attacks targeting various development projects.

“So, disruptions did not last long, based on the information we gathered the NPAs were just making their presence felt, and then they will flee,” he added in a statement Monday night.

Based on DILG records, government forces repelled the NPA rebels’ attack on Nov. 26, 2022 against a development project being implemented in Sitio Ibayasaya, Barangay Tigbanaba, Igbaras, Iloilo.

This was followed by a 16-man rebel attack in San Remegio, Antique.

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On January 27, a twin attack was conducted by the NPA in the barangays of Cabladan and Cabanbanan in the town of Sibalom, Antique that killed three unidentified rebels.

Armed encounters between government security forces and the NPA were also recorded in San Miguel, Catanduanes.

On May 11, another encounter happened in Sitio Dangalon, Barangay Hilamonan, Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental and then this was followed by an encounter on May 20 between 14 NPA rebels and government forces in Sitio Uway-uay, Barangay Quentin Remo, Moises Padilla, Negros Occidental.

In late March, government forces repelled a series of NPA attacks in Sitio Gimbaloran, Barangay Alipuaton, Salay, Misamis Oriental and in Barangay Buga, Riro-an, Taytay, and Tabiac to Barangay Batga in Tubungan area in Igbaras, respectively.

Director Valera said the Interior Department together with the NTF-ELCAC, military and police, and local government units will not be cowed by the economic sabotage being waged by the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front along with their front organizations.

Meanwhile, the DILG also reported that 82.07 percent of the 2021 Support to Barangay Development Program has been completed – 1,904 completed projects out of the 2,320 projects with 822 barangays as recipients.

For 2022, 41 percent of the 690 projects out of the 1,719 proposed projects for 1,406 barangays have already been completed. The projects include 763 farm-to-market roads, 415 water and sanitation, 132 health stations/centers, 116 school buildings, 163 rural electrification, 53 infrastructure projects, among others.

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