AFP: 94 rebels surrendered, killed and arrested last month
Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) - August 1, 2013 - 5:59pm

MANILA, Philippines - A total of 94 communist rebels surrendered, were killed or arrested last month, the military claimed Thursday.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), however, also suffered with 29 soldiers killed and wounded in the same period.

AFP public affairs chief Lt. Col. Ramon Zagala said 29 members of the New People’s Army (NPA) were killed in combat operations while 12 others were captured in July. He added that 56 rebels abandoned the armed struggle in the same period.

“However, the AFP also incurred losses in the month of July, with six soldiers killed and 23 wounded in armed engagements with the NPA,” Zagala said.

Among those who were killed and apprehended last month were rebel leaders in Davao del Sur, Sorsogon and Tarlac.

They include Loida Magpatoc, an NPA regional committee secretary, who was nabbed by security forces in Digos City in Davao del Sur last week. The military said Magpatoc was arrested by virtue of a warrant issued by a regional court for robbery with double homicide and damage to properties.

Also included in the NPA fatalities last month were the eight rebels slain in a clash with Army troops in Juban, Sorsogon. Among those killed in the Sorsogon encounter was Greg Banares, the spokesman of the NPA in Bicol region.

Six rebels were also killed in a clash with the 3rd Mechanized Infantry Battalion in Camiling, Tarlac last Tuesday.

AFP spokesman Brig. Gen. Domingo Tutaan Jr. claimed the operations against the NPA "were undertaken with a keen respect for human rights.”

Military data for the first half showed that the strength of the communist movement has not been reduced significantly over the last three years.

The AFP said the insurgents’ strength stood at 4,070 as of end-June. A check at previous military reports revealed that the rebellion’s strength is about 4,000 since 2010.

Security officials claimed the rebels had taken advantage of the impact of typhoon “Pablo” to bolster their recruitment efforts.

The military has vowed to curb insurgency by 2016 so it could focus on defending the country’s territory.

ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES DAVAO DIGOS CITY DOMINGO TUTAAN JR. GREG BANARES KILLED LOIDA MAGPATOC MECHANIZED INFANTRY BATTALION NEW PEOPLE RAMON ZAGALA
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