Joma: NPA could kill 1 soldier a day
LUCENA CITY — Exiled Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Maria “Joma” Sison has downplayed the scenario where New People’s Army (NPA) rebels might arrest government peace negotiators in retaliation for the capture of National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) peace consultant Rafael Baylosis.
However, he warned that the NPA rebels could launch continuous attacks and kill one government soldier a day to force the government to revive the peace talks.
Respect the Jasig
“As NDFP chief political consultant, I advise the NDFP to recommend to the CPP and NPA to respect the Jasig (Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees) as a solemn agreement that protects the negotiating personnel of both the NDFP and GRP (Government of the Republic of the Philippines),” Sison said in statement issued from his base in Utrecht, the Netherlands, on Sunday.
But Sison, who tagged Baylosis’ arrest as “extremely provocative,” warned that communist guerrillas were capable of killing one soldier a day or more than 500 troopers a month across the country.
“The NPA in 17 regions has actually the capacity of knocking out at least one AFP soldier every day per region. That eliminates at least 510 enemy troops or some five companies every month nationwide,” he said.
He added: “That translates to the elimination of some 60 companies or 20 basic battalions every year.”
Sison said the NPA had the advantage of being able to launch ambushes and raids by surprise.
The NPA maintains a special partisan unit called “Sparu or Sparrow,” an urban-based hit squad that targets policemen, soldiers, government officials and the so-called “enemies of the revolution.”
However, the military is belittling the capabilities of the NPA rebels and vowed to reduce by half its current estimate of at least 3,700 fighters spread throughout the country.
On Saturday, leftist solon Anakpawis Rep. Ariel Casilao raised the warning that the arrest of Baylosis might prompt the communist guerrillas to retaliate and also capture government peace negotiators and consultants.
Sison said Casilao’s warning “is honest and well-intentioned.” “He is actually pressing Duterte to respect the Jasig,” Sison said.
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