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NPA in Davao Oriental down to less than 100 — military

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A DELEGATION from Compostela Valley take a tour of Happy Home, a halfway house for rebel returnees implemented by the provincial government of Davao Oriental. — DAVAO ORIENTAL FB PAGE

THE MILITARY reported that it has reduced the New People’s Army (NPA) members in Davao Oriental to less than a hundred as of last month from about 300 in Feb. 2017. Lt. Col. Jacob Thaddeus M. Obligado, commander of the 67th Infantry Battalion, said the achievement was a joint effort of the law enforcement agencies and the local government units. “We could not have done it without the relationship (between the military and the local officials),” Mr. Obligado said in a statement. He said former members of the NPA, the armed group of the Communist Party of the Philippines, have been joining livelihood training and other activities, the most recent involving 150 peace volunteers who underwent a four-day workshop last week in Caraga town. The peace volunteers belong to the Mandaya indigenous group and are from rebel-infested areas, who decided to join the peace and order campaign of the local government. In late 2015, the military declared the province as a peace zone after it noted the decrease in the number of NPA attacks. The declaration followed the attack of the rebels on the police station of the provincial capital Mati City in Feb. that year. — Carmelito Q. Francisco