NPA attacks show Reds’ ‘insincerity to give peace a chance’
MANILA, Philippines — The attacks against soldiers and policemen in Iloilo and Camarines Norte hours after the government declared a holiday truce have displayed the “insincerity” of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) to attaining peace.
The leadership of the Philippine National Police (PNP) made this pronouncement Thursday, as they condemned the atrocities of the CPP, its political arm, the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), and its armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA), especially during a declared holiday cessation of hostilities.
“The latest acts of treachery and deceit by the CPP-NPA-NDFP when it carried out landmine attacks on troops returning to barracks upon declaration of a unilateral ceasefire on December 23 manifests its insincerity to give peace a chance,” PNP officer-in-charge Lt. Gen. Archie Gamboa said in a statement.
Just hours after the ceasefire began, NPA guerrillas ambushed a platoon from the Philippine Army’s 92nd Division Reconnaissance Company as they were withdrawing from Barangay Baay in Labo, Camarines Norte, in compliance with the suspension of military operations against the armed rebels. Cpl. Noel Daria was killed and six others were wounded.
Around half an hour later, suspected NPA rebels also set off an improvised explosive device along the path of personnel from the 1st Iloilo Provincial Mobile Force Company at Barangay Singon in Tubungan town. Two police officers were slightly wounded.
The ceasefire will end a minute before midnight on January 7, 2020.
Gamboa’s criticism of communist rebels coincided with the CPP’s commemoration of its 51 years of insurgency in the country.
For Gamboa, there is no reason for the rebels to celebrate.
“There is no reason to celebrate if the cause they are fighting for over the last five decades has already resulted in tens of thousands of Filipinos dead,” he said.
Instead, Gamboa pushed for a whole-of-nation approach against communist fighters. He said this method offers brighter prospects for peace and national unity among sectors of the Filipino society.
For his part, Brig. Gen. Edgard Arevalo, spokesperson of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, said these attacks by NPA guerrillas only show that “this terrorist group cannot be trusted.”
CPP’s founding chairman Jose Ma. Sison had agreed with the resumption of peace talks with the government as offered by President Rodrigo Duterte earlier this month.
But on the founding anniversary of the CPP, anti-rebel groups organized by the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict held simultaneous indignation rallies in 74 locations nationwide, including five in Metro Manila.
The rallies were also attended by the families of victims of NPA hostilities, parents aggrieved of recruitment of their children to NPA, youth representatives, local government units, as well as religious and indigenous people.
The PNP apparently supported the gathering since it provided security to the venues where the demonstrations were held.
The National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict said their assembly was conducted “to express condemnation over the anti-people terrorist activities” of the NPA.
Gamboa said the groups condemned the armed rebels as the “true terrorists who have continuously induced its supporters through propaganda to arouse, organize, and mobilize marginalized sectors in the countryside and infiltration of state universities and colleges and public schools purposely to advance their cause and create chaos in the community.”
Edited by KGA
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