NPA: We attacked militiamen before they could attack us
MANILA — The communist New People’s Army said on Friday they attacked a group of militiamen in Kapalong, Davao del Norte, despite the unilateral ceasefire declared by President Duterte last Monday, after receiving information that the paramilitary group and the military were about to attack communist guerillas in the area.
Aris Francisco, an NPA spokesperson, said in an emailed statement on Friday that communist rebels were indeed behindWednesday’s ambush in Davao del Norte, where a militiaman was killed, but added that the military twisted its report to make it appear that the NPA did not respect President Duterte’s unilateral declaration of ceasefire.
Francisco said the militiamen were not returning to camp as what the military earlier claimed.
“Nothing can be so farther from the truth. The AFP and the Alamara (militia) have been on active operation in Kapalong, resulting in several engagements including its July 5 ambush that wounded one Red fighter. Determined to continue its offensive military operations in Kapalong, the same troops ignored the ceasefire declaration of their Commander In Chief and again took off for combat operation from their detachment in Barangay Patil on July 26,” Francisco claimed.
Francisco said the NPA rebels involved only defended themselves because if they did not do so, “the operating AFP troops would have carried out its own combat action and inflicted damage against the NPA unit.”
“In twisting the facts presented to their commander-in-chief, the AFP is leaving out the glaring truth that its troops were clearly on combat operation and not engaged in “civilian” activities, in direct violation of GRP (Government of the Republic of the Philippines) President Duterte’s ceasefire order,” he said.
Francisco also accused the military of “sabotaging” the resumption of the peace process. SFM
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