The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has expressed concern over reports that the New People’s Army (NPA) in Negros Island Province (NIP) has been recruiting new members despite ongoing peace talks between the government and the CPP-NPA-NDF.
While Army 303rd Brigade Commander Col. Francisco Delfin revealed that NPA rebels have been actively recruiting new members in far-flung barangays in Negros Island Province (NIP), their hands are tied regarding the actions needed to prevent the recruitment.
“Ang military operations ay malinaw na ipinagbabawal under the Suspension of Military Operations (SOMO) na iniutos ng ating chief of staff (Gen. Ricardo Visaya). What we’re going to do is to take note of this, record it and bring it up in the proper forum,” said Marine Col. Edgard A. Arevalo, the chief of the AFP’s Public Affairs Office (PAO).
When asked to describe the magnitude of the kind of recruitment being done by the communist fighters and if it is widespread, Arevalo said: “Wala pa akong specific information as to the particular extent sa ngayon but there are reported incidents pero hindi ito sinasabi nating massive,” he said. (Francis T. Wakefield)