PNP on heightened alert amid order for NPA to escalate attacks
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police (PNP) is now on heightened alert amid the order of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) for its armed wing New People’s Army (NPA) to escalate attacks against government forces.
The CPP on Wednesday called on the NPA to “mount tactical offensives across the country” in response to the Congress-approved extension of martial law in Mindanao until December 31, 2019.
“Philippine National Police maneuver forces have been put on high alert mode for any possible tactical engagement with CPP-NPA terrorist elements that have been ordered to escalate attacks on government and prized civilian targets,” PNP chief Director General Oscar Albayalde said in a statement on Thursday.
Albayalde said police officers earlier deployed to Eastern Visayas, Negros Oriental, Negros Occidental, and Bicol Region have coordinated with their counterparts in the Armed Forces of the Philippines to beef up the defense of the communities against the rebels.
He said the latest order of CPP founder Joma Sison to the NPA exposed anew the “culture of lies, deception, and violence” of the communist movement to seize power from the government.
Albayalde said the CPP had found the Congress’ nod to the third extension of martial law as a “convenient excuse” to stage further hostilities against the government and civilian targets.
He also said that the temporary unilateral ceasefire the CPP declared for the holidays and its 50th founding anniversary on December 26 was meant to trick the government to reciprocate its “sham gesture.”
“We urge our people to maintain vigilant and not be intimidated by this vain attempt by the CPP-NPA to salvage its waning reputation and regain lost support of the masses that they continue to terrorize and oppress,” Albayalde said.
While the government maintains its stance against the Reds, Albayalde said its doors would remain open to all rebels deceived by the promises of a just society under communist rule.
“We gladly welcome them into the folds of the law to enjoy the blessings of democracy in a free state. We call on them to lay down their arms and come home to spend Christmas with their families,” he said.
He said that the government was also offering the surrenderees a livelihood package with compensation for surrendered firearms./ac
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.