Tarlac City—The Northern Luzon Command claimed Monday it has killed 80 members of the New People’s Army (NPA) during separate encounters with the communist rebels leading to the surrender of 1,000 symphatizers and confiscation of 300 pieces of assorted high-powered firearms, the Armed Forces announced.
NOLCOM covers the whole Northern Luzon areas including Region 1, Region 2, and Cordillera, one of the NPA’s stronghold in the north, the Philippine Army said.
Armed Forces Chief of Staff General Gilbert Gapay, who presided the turn-over rites between outgoing Nolcom Chief Lt. Gen. Ramiro Manuel Rey and incoming commander Major General Arnulfo Marcelo Burgos Jr., said the command tradition of excellence is paramount in sustaining the peace and development in Northern Luzon.
In his speech, Gapay cited the outgoing Nolcom Chief for his accomplishments citing President Rodrigo Roa Duterte executive order No. 70, calling for the whole-nation approach to end local communist armed conflict In the countryside.
“Rey has carried on NOLCOM’s tradition of excellence in sustaining and securing peace and development in the region,” Gapay said.
Gapay urged incoming NOLCOM chief to maintain and uphold humanitarian law by strictly following the rules of engagement which truly exemplify military’s high level of professionalism and respect for human rights as he noted the “herculean task” of being the Warden of the North.
“Now, another leader just as competent and worthy is given the responsibility to sustain the accomplishments of this command,” Gapay said.
Burgos is a member of the Philippine Military Academy “Maringal” Class of 1988. He has served as the commander of the 2nd Infantry “Jungle Fighter” Division of the Philippine Army.
There he pushed the Southern Tagalog Regional Party Committee’s Guerilla Front Cesar, which operates in the provinces of Rizal, Laguna, Quezon and Bulacan, “on the verge of irrevocable defeat,” the Army said in a statement.