Sep 152014
 

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2006/12/06MANILA5097.html#

Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06MANILA5097 2006-12-28 07:18 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Manila
VZCZCXRO6061
OO RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHML #5097/01 3620718
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 280718Z DEC 06 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY MANILA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4398
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS IMMEDIATE
RHHMUNA/CDRUSPACOM HONOLULU HI IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC IMMEDIATE
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 MANILA 005097

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR S/CT AND EAP/MTS
USPACOM ALSO FOR FPA HUSO AND J5
SECDEF/OSD/ISA/AP (TOOLAN/BAILEY)
JOINT STAFF/J5 (WILKES/ROBINSON/CLEMMONS)

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/27/06
TAGS: PTER PHUM MOPS KCRM RP
SUBJECT: LATEST DRIVE AGAINST THE NEW PEOPLE’S ARMY

REF: A. STATE 186035
¶B. MANILA 2777
¶C. MANILA 4628

Classified By: A/DCM Scott Bellard for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).

¶1. (C) SUMMARY. “Freedom Watch II,” the latest campaign by
the Armed Forces of Philippines against the terrorist New
People’s Army will include a hearts and minds campaign aimed
at building the people’s trust in local security institutions
as well as utilization of civilian militia. The AFP and the
Philippine National Police recently succeeded in arresting or
killing some local NPA leaders. The NPA remains a deadly
force nationwide, carrying out targeted assassinations, arms
seizures, and asset destruction, while its overall membership
declines. Philippine experiences working with U.S. troops on
civil/humanitarian programs in Muslim Mindanao should provide
fresh and valuable experiences in waging more successful
“hearts and minds” efforts to woo local communities away from
the Communist insurgents as well. END SUMMARY.

—————-
FREEDOM WATCH II
—————-

¶2. (C) According to Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP)
Deputy Chief of Operations Brigadier General Jogyleo Fojas,
the AFP will early in 2007 announce a “reinvigorated”
counterinsurgency initiative, “Oplan Bantay II” (Freedom
Watch II), to combat the terrorist New People’s Army (NPA),
with a plan of action extending to 2010. BG Fojas explained
that the goal of Freedom Watch II is not to eradicate the NPA
but to reduce its numbers from the estimated 7200 current
members to an “inconsequential” 3500 members. BG Fojas
estimated that there are currently 106 NPA fronts nationwide,
but that only 54 are currently active, clustered mainly in
Central Luzon, Bicol, and Eastern Mindanao regions.

¶3. (C) BG Fojas confirmed that most funding for Freedom
Watch II will come from the extra 1 billion peso (US$20
million) allocation that President Arroyo announced in June
2006, of which 400 million pesos (US$8 million) are for the
AFP, 300 million pesos (US$6 million) are for the Philippine
National Police (PNP), and 300 million pesos (US$6 million)
are for a “hearts and minds” campaign to build public trust
in local governmental and security institutions. BG Fojas
cited construction of public buildings, schools, and water
access projects as examples. He said that he did not have
details on how much of the 1 billion peso allocation had so
far been spent on Freedom Watch I, but indicated that the
2007 budget, if approved by the bicameral committee of the
two houses of Congress in early January, should provide
additional funding.

¶4. (SBU) BG Fojas also described the three main indicators
the AFP uses to measure “success” against the NPA: estimated
number of members; estimated number of firearms held by the
NPA; and, the number of “barangays” (the smallest
governmental unit in the Philippines, totaling about 40,000
nationwide) remaining to be “cleared” of NPA elements.
According to AFP statistics, over the past five years the
membership of the NPA has dropped from 11,930 members to
approximately 7,260, while the number of firearms has
decreased from approximately 7,160 pieces to 6,050. The
number of barangays with active NPA elements has risen,
however, from 1,969 in 2001 to 2,129 in 2006, confirming a
more dispersed insurgency nationwide. (See para 10 for AFP
statistics from 2001 – first half 2006.)

¶5. (C) By AFP standards, a barangay is “cleared” if recent
NPA-related armed activity drops by 70%. BG Fojas expressed
support for civilian militia initiatives (ref c) such as the
Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Unit (CAFGU) and Civilian
Volunteer Organizations (CVOs) in provincial barangays, but
stressed that these volunteer groups should only be used to
deter NPA re-entry into a barangay once it has been “cleared”
by the AFP. Presidential Political Advisor Gabriel Claudio
separately confirmed that the Philippine Government plans to
use CAFGUs and CVOs only on a temporary basis, noting that
arming these groups can sometimes “cause more harm than
good.”

—————————–
SUCCESSES AGAINST NPA LEADERS
—————————–

MANILA 00005097 002 OF 003

¶6. (U) Acting under Executive Order 546, which gave the PNP
a more active role in counterinsurgency (ref c), AFP and/or
PNP forces have in recent months;
— arrested Rafael Limcumpao, a wanted CPP/NPA regional
leader in Samal, Bataan province;
— captured NPA commander Leo aal, alias Commander
Graveheart, in Loreto, Agusan del Sur Province (Eastern
Mindanao);
— overran a rebel training camp in Palapag, Samar Province,
and killed Zacarias Nobes, secretary of the provincial CPP;
and,
— killed three NPA commanders in the Southern Mindanao
province of Sultan Kudarat, including an officer of the NPA’s
regional command, Catalino Tacadao (alias Kumander Asyo).

——————–
CURRENT NPA ACTIVITY
——————–

¶7. (U) The number of NPA incidents has averaged about 54 per
month since June 2006, centered in Central Luzon, Bicol, and
Northern and Eastern Mindanao. Incidents ranged from
tit-for-tat encounters with NPA units to NPA targeted
assassinations against local figures, usually employing
motorcycle-riding assassins armed with a .45 caliber pistol.
In one large-scale attack on December 10, approximately 70
NPA members hijacked trucks carrying relief goods intended
for victims of Typhoon Reming in Catanduanes Province.

¶8. (C) According to BG Fojas, the NPA rarely attacks local
AFP or PNP outposts directly, preferring instead to steal
firearms from military or police personnel caught “lounging
around,” or off duty.

——-
COMMENT
——-

¶9. (C) The CPP/NPA threat nationwide remains real and
deadly, despite the determination of the Philippine
Government to combat it and the ongoing and upcoming
campaigns by the AFP and the PNP. Philippine experiences
working with U.S. troops on civil/humanitarian programs in
Muslim Mindanao should provide fresh and valuable experiences
in waging a more successful “hearts and minds” efforts to woo
local communities away from the Communist insurgents as well.
END COMMENT.

———–
STATISTICS
———–

¶10. (SBU) The AFP supplied the following statistics to
measure effectiveness against the NPA:

— Estimated NPA Membership:

2001: 11,930
2002: 9,260
2003: 8,890
2004: 8,890
2005: 7,470
1st half 2006: 7,260

— Estimated Number of NPA Firearms:

2001: 7,160
2002: 6,130
2003: 6,120
2004: 6,160
2005: 5,980
1st half 2006: 6,050

— Number of Barangays Remaining to be “Cleared” of NPA
Activity:

2001: 1,969
2002: 2,394
2003: 2,490
2004: 2,510
2005: 2,178
1st half 2006: 2,129

— Casualty Ratio of Government Forces (AFP/PNP) to NPA:

MANILA 00005097 003 OF 003

2001: 1:1.4
2002: 1:1.1
2003: 1:1
2004: 1:1.1
2005: 1.3:1

— Ratio of Firearms Gained to Lost:

2001: 1.9:1
2002: 2:1
2003: 1:1.2
2004: 1.1:1
2005: 1.3:1

Visit Embassy Manila’s Classified website:
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/eap/manila/index. cfm

You can also access this site through the State Department’s
Classified SIPRNET website: http://www.state.sgov.gov/
KENNEY

   

 

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