Philippine Guerrillas on the Run?

Philippine Guerrillas on the Run?

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) have declared that the New People’s Army (NPA), one of the oldest guerrilla movements in Asia, is now “strategically defeated.” With its active guerrilla fronts dismantled, the remaining armed members of the NPA are reportedly on the run across the country, according to AFP spokesperson Col. Medel Aguilar.


Aguilar stated, “The underground movement is no longer capable of implementing programs that will enable it to recruit new members, generate resources, and establish a united front to overthrow the government.”

However, the NPA has dismissed Manila’s goal of ending insurgency by 2025, expressing readiness to continue fighting. Clashes between the NPA and government forces have persisted, with at least 10 reported incidents since the beginning of the year in regions such as Rizal, Batangas, and Iloilo.

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. had previously declared in December that there were “no more active” NPA bases in the country. Despite never politically controlling any province or city, the NPA remains active, operating from bases in forests and mountains across the Philippines.

The NPA, founded in 1969 and following a Marxist–Leninist–Maoist ideology, boasts longevity as the world’s longest ongoing communist insurgency. Its current strength stands at less than 4,000 armed guerrillas, a significant decline from its peak of over 20,000 in 1986. The NPA operates in 120 guerrilla fronts across 74 out of 81 Philippine provinces.


Although the AFP claims strategic victory, the NPA’s continued presence underscores ongoing challenges in addressing insurgency and maintaining stability in the Philippines.

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