Despite this, they are “largely incapable of inflicting serious damage or harm to the government,” she added in the government press statement.

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing - the New People's Army (NPA), have been waging a 34-year Maoist armed insurgency. In their latest  attack early on Monday, NPA rebels killed two soldiers and seriously wounded a third.

In a separate incident, four soldiers and six guerrillas perished in a firefight in the northern regions of the archipelago on Saturday.
  
Arroyo insisted the attacks were “a ploy” to boost the perceived relevance of a weak and isolated organisation.

“While we do not close the door to peace talks, we shall continue to dismantle NPA formations by military and police operations and to constrict the NPA mass base by effective political and socio-economic measures applied at the grassroots,” she said.