National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) chief political consultant Jose Maria Sison posted a map of the Philippines showing New People’s Army (NPA) presence in “at least 73 of 81 provinces of the country.”
“The color red in this map shows the presence of the New People´s Army in at least 73 out of the 81 Philippine provinces,” Sison said in his Facebook post.
“NPA presence denotes the existence of the people´s militia and the self-defense units of the revolutionary mass organizations. These two layers of people´s defense are the auxiliary and reserve force of the NPA,” Sison wrote.
He said the map came from the Philippine Revolution Web Collective and the NDFP.
According to the map, among the provinces the NPA does not currently have presence are Batanes, Bataan, Biliran, Cebu, Marinduque, Siquijor, Romblon, and Guimaras.
The Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao are also uncolored.
The Government of the Republic of the Philippines repeatedly announced in recent years that the NPA is down to about 3,700 fighters.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) recently presented to President Rodrigo Duterte hundreds of NPA fighters who allegedly surrendered as part of 4,000 who recently abandoned armed struggle.
“These are indicators of growing discontent within their organizations, the success of our programs, and the cooperation between residents and local government units,” AFP spokesperson Col. Edgard Arevalo said in a press conference last January.
Netizens, however, pointed out that the Duterte government in fact presented 300 more so-called surrendered members than the AFP’s claim of NPA’s 3,700 fighters. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)