Government security forces declared early this week at least three provinces in the area of the Southern Tagalog region free from the influence of the communist New People’s Army (NPA).
With the declaration, the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces (AFP) signed a directive giving the police responsibility for peace and security operation in the area.
“Among the 63 provinces affected in varying degrees by the communist insurgency, Laguna, Batangas and Cavite are now classified under the law and order problem category and have been cleared of insurgency,” a PNP statement said Wednesday.
PNP chief spokesman Sr. Supt. Reuben Theodore Sindac said that in Southern Tagalog, the insurgency has waned in the provinces of Cavite, Laguna and Batangas.
“Peace and security responsibility in these three provinces will now be assumed by the PNP with the AFP assisting in internal security operations including the suppression of insurgency,” Sindac said.
“For the past years, the level of communist insurgency in these provinces has decreased, particularly in Batangas where the security situation remains relatively peaceful,” Sindac said.
He added that the rebels’ capability to launch major offensives has been weakened.