BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines – The New People’s Army, a designated terrorist organization, is seizing significantly less weapons from State security forces in the Visayas region over the last three years, military data showed.
Amid the death of its founding chairman and what government said is a weakening rebel force whittled down by battlefield losses, surrenders of its cadres and fighters and the loss of mass support, some former rebels and observers are are raising doubts if the NPA, ill-equipped and losing its guerrilla bases, can sustain a war against a government army that is well-supplied and well-equipped.
Data from the Armed Forces Visayas Command on the number of firearms seized by the New People’s Army over three years in the Visayas region has drastically gone down compared to a decade ago.
“It looks like that,” VisCom chief and concurrent Army Third Division commander, Lieutenant General Benedict Arevalo told DNX when asked if the weapons seized by the rebels from State security forces has dropped drastically compared to just a decade ago.
Figures from the VisCom showed the NPA racked a total of only seven firearms and three hand grenades in the Visayas area from 2020 to 2022.
This is broken down into only one pistol in 2020, an assault rifle, three pistols and three grenades in 2021, and two pistols in 2022.
It was not indicated if the NPA seized these firearms after ambuscades or “agaw armas (weapons grab)” operations that became rampant in Negros island during the Aquino I administration in the 1980s.