Army calls NPA ‘paranoid’ for abducting gov’t surveyors using drones
MANILA, Philippines—The military on Monday tagged the New People’s Army rebels as “paranoid” for abducting government surveyors who used drones while working in Compostela Valley.
“This is utter paranoia in the NPA’s part, even calling these unmanned aerial vehicles as ultimately instruments of mass genocide and civilian destruction (and mentioning predator drones), when these are clearly used for a purpose supporting development,” said Army’s 10th Infantry Division spokesperson Captain Ernest Carolina in a statement.
The NPA seized six government surveyors in New Leyte village in Maco town last May 30. They were doing validation work for the government’s National Greening Program when they were seized by the communist rebels.
A previous news report said that three of the six surveyors were freed, but Captain Alberto Caber, spokesperson of the Eastern Mindanao Command, maintained that the six were still with the NPA.
“When the abduction happened, they held two DENR workers and a village chief at gunpoint before they fled. But they were not taken by the rebels,” he said.
In a statement, the NPA claims that the use of aerial reconnaissance “is merely a pretext to intensify imperialist mining plunder and counter-revolutionary intelligence in Southern Mindanao.”
“The NPA denounces the use of drones and other reconnaissance devices that are ultimately indiscriminate weapons of mass genocide and civilian destruction. The [unmanned aerial vehicles] are not only surveillance gadgets but are also weapons for aerial attacks and strikes, designed and used by US imperialism,” Daniel Ibarra, spokesperson of NPA in Davao said.
Carolina downplayed the NPA’s statements, saying that this only goes to show that the NPA is “anti-development,” “anti-people” and “anti-organization.”
He maintained that the surveyors were completely non-military activity.
“The NPA is particularly paranoid because it wants to hide its activities to ensure their so called revolution will continue – the same activities which make their leaders wallow in wealth (as confirmed in recent arrests of ranking NPA leaders by virtue of warrants of arrest) while their Red fighters whom they teach a “simple life” are toiling in the mountains,” he said.
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