New military chief can’t stop NPA growth, says CPPBy Frances Mangosing
MANILA, Philippines—Newly-appointed Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Emmanuel Bautista “will end his term in frustration as he is bound to fail miserably” in pursuing his objective of “rendering irrelevant” the New People’s Army, the Communist Party of the Philippines said Friday.
Bautista, who assumed post Thursday, is one of the architects of the military’s anti-insurgency strategy, the Internal Peace Security Peace Plan Oplan Bayanihan.
“General Bautista cannot stop the momentum of growth of the New People’s Army,” it added in a statement.
“The New People’s Army continues to grow in number and in terms of firepower and is bound to increase in a more rapid pace in the coming years as the crisis of the ruling system worsens and subjects the mass of workers and peasants and middle class sectors to more intolerable conditions of oppression and exploitation,” said the CPP.
The NPA is the CPP’s armed wing.
“Over the next few years, the NPA and the people’s militias will be able to initiate more frequent and widespread tactical offensives at the front, regional, inter-regional and national levels,” it said.
In his assumption speech at Camp Aguinaldo Thursday, Bautista asked the communist rebels to abandon the armed struggle.
“We hope that the CPP-NPA-NDF will likewise pursue the road to peace and abandon the armed struggle. As we have long realized, armed struggle is not the solution to our problems,” he said.