By Priam Nepomuceno

AFP spokesperson Col. Medel Aguilar (File photo)

MANILA – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Sunday said lack of support is now pushing the communist insurgency to become a “dying movement.”

“We have achieved (a) significant breakthrough in our campaign to end local communist armed conflict. With reduced capability and loss of people’s support, the CPP (Communist Party of the Philippines) could hardly initiate (a) tactical offensive to threaten the peace,” AFP spokesperson Col. Medel Aguilar said in a statement.

“Far away from achieving its political objective, the CPP cadres are hanging on its last breath for the economic benefits afforded by the party’s resources generated locally and abroad. Ideology is just a memory to (a) dying movement,” he added.

He added that attrition in the CPP leadership and other members of its ranks have made it difficult for its leadership to convene the national congress and install a new set of executive committee members.

“Never before had the party experienced this difficulty in consolidating what remains of its members. Benito Tiamzon is nowhere to be found to make critical decisions for the party. His reported death is feared by the 54-year-old party to cause further demoralization and disintegration within the organization,” Aguilar said.

CPP founding chairman Jose Maria Sison died at the age of 83 in the Netherlands 12 days before the CPP celebrated its 54th anniversary on Dec. 26.

Meanwhile, the AFP spokesperson is pleased to note that their campaign against local terrorist groups (LTGs) are gaining ground.

“The framework we are using in the fight against Daesh, Al Qaeda, Daulah Islamiya and ISIS-affiliated local terror groups resulted to the decline of indiscriminate acts of violence, which include IED (improvised explosive device) explosions and attack to against civilian populace; stoppage of the kidnap-for-ransom activities; neutralization of LTG key personalities; surrender of its fighters; and recovery of its mass bases or civilian supporters,” Aguilar said.

As the country welcomes 2023, Aguilar said the coming year offers the Philippines with choices to chart its course.

“Amidst cultural diversity and ideological differences, the only way forward is helping one another and working together along with the government’s sincere efforts for unity and reconciliation. Happy New Year to one and all,” Aguilar added.

As this develops, the Philippine Army ushered in 2023 through a well-attended New Year’s Eve held at the PA Officers’ Village Park, Fort Bonifacio, Metro Manila last Dec. 31.

Army officers, enlisted personnel and civilian human resources personnel, together with their loved ones, attended the evening Mass to welcome the new year.

PA vice commander Maj. Gen. Adonis R. Bajao, who represented Army commander Lt. Gen. Romeo S. Brawner Jr. lauded the dedication of soldiers in the fulfillment of their oath to serve the people and secure the land.

He also cited the role of soldiers in maintaining hard-earned peace in communities and in helping disaster-afflicted Filipinos across the country. (PNA)