General Catapang aims to declare Philippines NPA-free next year

“My target is to declare the entire country peaceful and ready for development before I step down,” Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief General Gregorio Pio Catapang said.

He firmly said that New People’s Army will be wiped out before his retirement next year.

“When I go around, I read reports and the usual sightings were 20 men. When I add them up, they are just hundreds. That’s why I’m asking the intelligence [group] to re-assess the situation,” Catapang added.

This forecast by the military chief is one year ahead of President Aquino’s commitment to eradicate the New People’s Army before he step down as the country’s president.

“I think we have the momentum to declare the country peaceful and ready for development next year,” Catapang noted.

Catapang was the commander of the Northern Luzon Command when NPA in Pampanga was wiped out.

The AFP chief said that NPA is surviving in some regions by extortion activities against business owners.

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