Militant groups dared to condemn Red ‘atrocities’
MANILA, Philippines — Unless suspected front groups for communist insurgents publicly condemn alleged atrocities committed by the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA), the Armed Forces of the Philippines will consider them complicit.
At a press briefing on Tuesday, Brig. Gen. Edgard Arevalo, spokesperson for the AFP, said the military had compiled a list of atrocities, including murders, kidnappings, extortion and destruction of property allegedly committed in 2018 and this year by the CPP-NPA.
“If they (alleged front organizations) do not condemn these [atrocities], they are either complicit or they agree or acquiesce [to] the wrongdoings of [the insurgents],” Arevalo said.
The national task force to end the local communist armed conflict, he said, had long challenged the Makabayan bloc in the House of Representatives, National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers and its allied groups to condemn the insurgents’ alleged atrocities.
Makabayan is made up of party-list groups Bayan Muna, ACT Teachers, Gabriela, Anakpawis and Kabataan, which the military said were all sympathetic to the communists.
Arevalo said the AFP supported the task force’s condemnation of the alleged murder by NPA rebels of innocent civilians including children, the killing of their former comrades who laid down their arms to return to the fold, and other atrocities such as arson, extortion and human rights violations.
He said the military and the task force had been asking groups with suspected links to the CPP-NPA to condemn the atrocities, “but so far we have not heard anything from them.”
“We support [the task force’s] bid to expose the link of some members of the party-list groups to the CPP-NPA,” he said.
Among the alleged atrocities committed by the insurgents, he said, were the use of land mines by the NPA near a patrol base of the Army’s 20th Infantry Battalion in Las Navas, Samar province, on April 17 which killed a Grade 3 pupil; the April 12 killing of Hanunuo Mangyan tribal leader Jose Barrera at Sitio Liberty, Barangay Naibuan, in San Jose, Occidental Mindoro; the April 25 ambush killing of Apolinario Lebico, village chief of Barangay San Miguel, Las Navas, Northern Samar; and the Feb. 25 burning of hydropower plant equipment in Naujan, Oriental Mindoro.
Arevalo also cited the April 5 kidnapping of village chief Peter delos Santos of Barangay Malo and two others in Bansud, Oriental Mindoro; the March 31 raid on the police station in Remigio town, Antique, and the June 18 attack at the police station in Maasin, Iloilo.
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