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Eastern Mindanao Command is prepared to fight the National People’s Army (NPA) in poll hotspots.

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Eastern Mindanao Command (Eastmincom) assured Wednesday that its soldiers are on high alert against any NPA atrocities, particularly in regions listed as having security issues during the May 9 polls.

Eastmincom commander Lt. Gen. Greg Almerol said security and contingency plans are in place in locations regarded as electoral hotspots in the Caraga and Davao regions.

“Intensified random checkpoints” and “ensuring that available resources are ready for deployment, notably during the delivery of election materials to voting centers” are among the preparations, according to Almerol.

Similarly, he claims that a series of communist NPA members’ surrenders and the disintegration of its units had crippled the organization enough to prevent it from carrying out atrocities.

According to Almerol, security forces were recently involved in a series of skirmishes with the NPA in the Caraga and Davao districts, which resulted in the neutralization of six individuals.

Two unnamed NPA combatants were killed in the recent clash on April 29 in the Surigao del Sur village of Lanuza.

According to Almerol, the rebels planned to extort local candidates who were holding campaign rallies in Lanuza’s Barangay Nurcia.

On April 28, a confrontation occurred in the hinterlands of Bacuag, Surigao del Norte, between the forces of the 901st Brigade’s 30IB and the NPA.

Four NPA militants, two of whom were minors, had surrendered to troops from the 701st Brigade’s 66IB in Maragusan, Davao de Oro, the day before.

“We strongly condemn the NPA’s continued use of youngsters in terrorist acts,” Almerol added.

The United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines have all designated the Communist Party of the Philippines-NPA as a terrorist group.

On June 23, 2021, the Anti-Terrorism Council formally recognized the National Democratic Front as a terrorist organization, claiming it as “an integral and inseparable member” of the CPP-NPA formed in April 1973.

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