OVER half of the 657 people listed by the Department of Justice (DOJ) as alleged members of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA), are from Mindanao.
The DOJ list is contained in a 55-page petition that seeks to have the CPP and NPA declared as “terrorist and outlawed organizations, associations and/or group of persons” pursuant to the Human Security Act of 2007.
In its petition for proscription filed before the Regional Trial Court Branch 19 in Manila on Feb. 21, the DOJ listed 657 people from various parts of the country who it alleged are members of the CPP-NPA.
At least 364 were from Mindanao or 55.40 percent of the nationwide total.
Of the 364, however, 44.50 percent or 162 names are mere aliases.
The “terrorist” list accounts for 21 pages of the 55-page DOJ petition, 10 pages of that the names of those based in Mindanao.
Mindanao continues to host the biggest concentration of the NPA in the country.
Caraga and the Davao regions under the North Eastern Mindanao Regional Committee and Southern Mindanao Regional Committee , respectively, host the most number of NPA nationwide.
Caraga region comprises Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur and Dinagat Island while the Davao region comprises Davao del Norte, Davao del Sur, Davao Oriental, Davao Occidental and Compostela Valley.
Eastern Mindanao is the area where majority of the NPAs are situated, said Lt. Col. Emmanuel Garcia, chief of the Public Affairs Office of the Armed Forces.
“About 60 percent of the NPA guerilla fronts and red fighters are in Mindanao. Then 80 percent of those are in Eastern Mindanao,” he said.
Garcia said the nationwide strength of the NPA as of last year was “3,700 based on revelations of captured/arrested/surrendered NPAs themselves.”
“The process is not an exact science. There might be a margin of error of probably plus/minus 200,” he said.
The armed strength of the NPA in the North Central Mindanao Regional Committee which covers portions of Agusan del Sur, Bukidnon and Misamis Oriental is “maliit” (small), Garcia said.
“The biggest number is in the eastern rather than northern part. SMRC has the most number followed by NEMRC,” he said.
Based on the DOJ list, the NCMRC, which Garcia described as “maliit,” has the most number of alleged members not only Mindanao-wide but nationwide — 276 — which accounts for 75.82 percent of Mindanao’s 364 and 40 percent of the total 657.
Of the 276 alleged members from NCMRC, more than half — 151 or 54.71 percent — are identified only by their aliases.
Still based on the DOJ list, the SMRC, supposedly with the most number, has only 57 alleged members, accounting for only 15.66 percent of 364 while NEMC’s total of 15 alleged members, accounts for only 4.12 percent.
Combined, the DOJ list of 72 alleged members from SMRC and NEMC/NEMRC constitute only 19.78 percent of 364.
“Only DOJ can probably comment on that,” Garcia said when asked about the DOJ-listed higher figures for NCMRC compared with SMRC and NEMRC.
Garcia said he has not seen the DOJ list.
“It is now in court, let us wait for the arguments of concerned parties and the ruling of the court,” he said.
The DOJ list of alleged CPP/NPA members from Mindanao include Jorge Madlos of the National Operations Command, National Military Commission.
Madlos a.k.a. Ka Oris is a former NDF-Mindanao spokesperson before he was named NPA spokesperson.
The DOJ list also named six members allegedly of the Komisyon Mindanao; 15 from Northeastern Mindanao (two from the North Eastern Mindanao Commission and 13 from the NEMRC); 276 from the NCMRC; 57 from the SMRC; four from the Far South Mindanao Region; and five from the Western Mindanao Regional Party Committee. (carolyn o. arguillas of mindanews)