Philippines: Mindanao press reports large growth in New People’s Army

NPAs in Mindanao up 20 percent

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GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/28 March) – The communist-led New People’s Army (NPA) in Mindanao has grown in numbers over the last two years, according to rebel spokesman Jorge Madlos, a.k.a. Ka Oris.

Jorge Madlos, a.k.a. Ka Oris. Mindanews File Photo by Gigi Bueno

“We have formed additional platoons and increased our armed strength by almost 20 percent,” Madlos said in a statement sent to reporters on the eve of the 43rd founding anniversary of the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines.

He claimed the guerilla fronts of the NPA have increased to 42, up from 32 fronts three years ago.

“We have maintained 42 guerrilla fronts island-wide and increased the number of company-sized fronts,” Madlos said.

The communist rebels claim they have five regional party committees in mainland Mindanao.

Each regional party committee is reportedly maintaining at least a company-sized main regional guerrilla unit (MRGU) apart from several platoons of front guerrilla units (FGUs) distributed throughout the island.

The CPP-NPA rebellion is Asia’s longest running insurgency movement.

The NPA was founded on March 29, 1969 in Sta. Rita, Pampanga from remnants of the Hukbong Mapagpalaya ng Bayan (HMB), the armed wing of the old Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas (PKP).

From an undersized platoon of poorly equipped fighters with less than 25 rifles and handguns, the NPA has expanded throughout the archipelago and became a major threat to national security during the Marcos dictatorship.

It is believed that more than half of the total armed regulars of the NPA today are in Mindanao, also the seat of the Moro secessionist movement. Continue reading