There are internal problems in the leadership of the New People’s Army in Negros, that may have been caused by the arrest of several of their top leaders and cadres, including its regional commander, Romeo Natan.
This has prompted them to lie low, and re-assess their strategies in their conduct of tactical operations against government forces, Col. Oscar Lactao, 303rd Infantry Brigade commander, said yesterday.
Since Natan rejoined his comrades in the mountains, after posting more than P100,000 bail for robbery-in-band and arson, the NPA, especially in northern Negros, have lain low for several months, Lactao said.
This is because majority of their leaders have already been identified through their arrest, and they are now suspected of giving information to their captors, he added.
In the past months, he said they also noted a reduction in the extortion activities of the NPA. Lactao, however, said he expects this to surge in the next few months, because of the opening of the milling season.
Lactao also said they have received reports about the continuing decline on number of NPA recruits, while those who are pressing the fight against government are their “hardcore leaders”, who make the rebel movement a source of livelihood.
Lactao, who visited remote detachments in northern Negros, said they are now focusing their efforts on civil-military and combat operations, as well as legal offensives against key NPA personalities in Negros Occidental.
Company commanders of the 3rd Infantry Division, attended a three-day seminar-workshop from Sept. 5 to 7 at Camp Macario Peralta in Jamindan, Capiz, to fine-tune operational details, evaluate unit performances, receive updates on new NPA tactics, and set their target goals, Maj. Gen. Jose Mabanta, 3ID commanding general, said.* GPB