Reds tell AFP: Make public data on NPA attacks on civilians, private property
MANILA, Philippines—The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) on Tuesday (Jan. 12) challenged the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to make public the list of attacks on civilians and private property being attributed to New People’s Army (NPA), the CPP armed wing, in the last 10 years.
CPP information officer Marco Valbuena said the AFP should make its data publicly available for everyone to subject to scrutiny and check if these were indeed “verifiable” as the AFP claimed.
“The AFP is vainly concocting ‘statistics’ to make it appear that the NPA is systematically attacking civilians,” Valbuena said. “The AFP is merely grabbing media attention in the vain hope of slandering the NPA as ‘terrorist’ that attacks civilians,” he said.
The AFP on Tuesday submitted to the United Nations a list of “violent incidents” attributed to NPA in the last 10 years.
Valbuena said the military “has resorted to dragging the name of the United Nations.”
He said the AFP just wanted to draw away public attention “from the dirty war against unarmed people, especially in the countryside where military and police forces have been involved in killings and massacres and other crimes against the peasant masses.”
Valbuena went on to say that it was a “primordial policy” of the NPA to protect civilian life and property at all times.
“As far as we know, there are no outstanding civilian complaints against the NPA which have not been resolved with the concerned NPA unit or Party committee,” he said.
“It’s possible that it’s only the AFP that is complaining,” Valbuena said in Filipino. “In fact, we know of cases where injured parties who have been properly indemnified by the NPA were being harassed by the AFP to file complaints before the courts,” he added.
NPA had attacked mining and logging companies in the past and burned heavy equipment being used to extract mineral ore or transport felled trees in what guerrillas had described as ancestral domain of indigenous peoples.
Heavy equipment and trucks being used for road construction projects had also been burned by rebels in the past years.
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