NPA activity escalates; Bohol may lose “insurgency-free” tag

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NPA activity escalates; Bohol may lose “insurgency-free” tag

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Central Visayas’ top police official believes there is an escalation in the level of activities instigated by communist insurgents here in the province, which could result in Bohol losing its “insurgency-free” status.

This was bared by Police Regional Office – 7, Regional Director Brig. General Albert Ignatius Ferro who arrived here in the province Tuesday, September 15, for a command visit at the Bohol Police Provincial Office at Camp Dagohoy, Tagbilaran City.

While the province of Bohol is still classified as insurgency-free based on official government standards, Brig. Gen. Ferro sees a resurgence of activities that are related to the leftist movement, specifically the New People’s Army (NPA) or the Communist Terrorist Group (CTG), during the past three years.

The police and the military here have noted incidents in Bohol involving the NPA or CTG since May 2017, which reveals at least three encounters, two cases of harassments, and four liquidations.

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The most recent encounter was on February 29, 2020 when troops of the Philippine Army’s 47th Infantry Battalion clashed with estimated 15 members of the NPA in Bilar town resulting in the death of a soldier and one of the rebel fighters.

According to Ferro, these incidents would indicate that remnants of the leftist group are trying to revive the communist insurgency in the province.

This was confirmed by a member of the armed communist group, Joseph Gulle Galagar, who voluntarily surrendered to the authorities on September 2, 2020.

Galagar, who admitted that he was among the close-in comrades of known NPA commander Domingo Compoc, said he decided to return to the folds of the law after he met an accident which resulted to the loss of a leg.

Galagar said Compoc and his comrades in the armed movement did not help him following his accident which fueled his resolve to voluntarily surrender to the Candijay Police Station.

Brig. Gen Ferro presented Galagar to members of the media during his press conference at Camp Dagohoy. The police said that during his surrender, Galagar also turned in his 38-caliber firearm and the pumpboat that was allegedly used by ranking officials of the CTG in coming to Bohol from the neighboring provinces of Negros and Cebu.

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According to Ferro, over the past three years of police and military operations have resulted in the discovery of at least four NPA camps, and the arrest of at least six suspected NPA leaders and subsequently several firearms and ammunitions have also been seized from the NPA.

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The province of Bohol was formally declared insurgency-free in February 2010. (KB, RT)

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