NPA ordered to ‘strike at’ military intimidating voters–CPP
MANILA, Philippines – The Communist Party of the Philippines ordered its armed wing, the New People’s Army, to “strike at” Philippine military units allegedly “engaging in intimidation against the people.”
The CPP accused the Armed Forces of the Philippines for using the elections “a camouflage to intensify the militarization of rural communities in line with its Oplan Bayanihan war of suppression.” Oplan Bayanihan is the AFP’s anti-insurgency strategy.
The CPP said the government forces served as armed escorts of “political rascals” who engage in intimidation and vote-buying.
In a statement, the CPP lauded the NPA for its successful ambush of a government convoy in Kalinga province on May 8.
The convoy was on its way to deliver PCOS machines in Tabuk when it was ambushed by the rebels. The incident left two soldiers from the Army’s 17th Infantry Battalion killed and six wounded.
The CPP said, however, that the claim that the soldiers were escorting the delivery of election counting machines as a “big lie.”
“The 17th Infantry Battalion was scouring areas which they suspect to be strongholds of the revolutionary movement. They were tearing down posters and election paraphernalia of progressive candidates and partylist groups in a vain effort to intimidate people against voting for these organizations which they accuse without proof of being supporters of the armed revolutionary movement,” the CPP said.
On May 10, the NPA command in Sorsogon province also carried out an ambush against a SWAT unit of the Philippine National Police, which left at least five armed policemen wounded.
“They take advantage of the opportunity to enter into the revolutionary areas in order to recruit anti-social elements and organize their intelligence networks,” added the CPP.
“Under the pretext of guarding the elections, AFP combat units are being deployed in areas where the people are active in democratic struggles and revolutionary mass resistance,” said the CPP.
“It is the duty of all NPA units to stay on high alert and strike at every opportunity to prevent the AFP units from intimidating the masses to vote for their favored politician, typically those who line up the pockets of their commanders.”
“These NPA tactical offensives do not aim to disrupt the reactionary elections, as there is no point for doing so,” added the CPP.
“The Monday elections have been sufficiently exposed as a farce by the dynastic reactionary politicians from the national to the local levels who have made a complete mockery of the so-called democratic political exercise,” it also said.
In April, the Philippine government ordered the police and military to go after insurgents after the armed attacks beginning with the ambush of Gingoog Mayor Ruth Guingona.
The Philippine Army, meanwhile, condemned the NPA after the incident in Kalinga for “disrupting” the elections, saying they “will not succeed and are actually incurring the ire of the public to the detriment of their favored candidates.”
The AFP also raised its highest security alert on Friday, cancelling all leaves and requiring soldiers to be at their posts in preparations for the elections and to make sure that there will enough available personnel to respond to emergencies. The red alert will be until May 15 at 4 a.m., but may be extended “depending on the prevailing security situation.”
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