Marcos Empowers Local Officials in Communist Fight

United Press International

President Ferdinand E. Marcos granted local officials control over 110,000 police and militia forces today for the first time in 12 years in a bid to combat communist insurgents threatening his government.

He also doubled combat pay for soldiers, directed more logistical support to troops in the field and ordered more training of soldiers and civil militias in an apparent bid to cut down on military abuses.

The Marcos government is battling the New People's Army, the armed wing of the outlawed Communist Party of the Philippines, in most of the country's provinces.

The NPA's strength has doubled to 12,000 armed troops since Marcos lifted eight years of martial law in 1981.

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