PNP Chief Dela Rosa: Peace talks with NPA pointless
BANSALAN, Davao del Sur – Philippine National Police Director General Ronald dela Rosa said on Thursday it has become pointless to negotiate with communist rebels for peace.
Dela Rosa made the comment as he took note of how suspected New People’s Army rebels killed PO3 Jayden May Rabor of the Davao del Sur police crime laboratory, and Bansalan police members PO1 Rholly Benelayo, PO1 Joey O Narvaza and PO1 Saro Mangotara during an ambush in Barangay Sibayan here on Wednesday.
“I really pity our slain police officers. They were shot many times in the head,” he said.
“We have long been talking peace with them but nothing happened. Nothing is happening. I would be retiring soon but the talks had not achieved anything,” he said.
Dela Rosa, set to retire in 2018, said President Rodrigo Duterte would have the final say on whether to resume peace talks with the Communist Party of the Philippines and its armed front New People’s Army, as represented by its political arm, the National Democratic Front of the Philippines.
“It all depends on the President,” he said.
President Duterte on Thursday afternoon ordered the Armed Forces of the Philippines to wage an all-out war against the NPA and drop bombs on the rebel guerillas. He also ruled out the resumption of the peace talks with thec CPP, NPA and NDFP at this time.
In blaming the NPA for the ambush, Dela Rosa said no other rebel group operated in Bansalan.
“There’s no Abu Sayyaf or (Moro Islamic Liberation Front) rebels here,” he said, as he cited past experiences, such as the 2009 ambush against the Bansalan police chief, Senior Insp. Emelix Mabalot. Mabalot, two other policemen and a tanod, were all killed in the attack.
Dela Rosa said Mabalot and his men were on their way back to Bansalan after picking up the cadaver of a soldier in Barangay Managa when ambushed by the NPA. The rebels had admitted staging the ambush.
He also shared a personal experience when he was still the Bansalan police chief in 1991.
Dela Rosa said he and his team were to pick up the cadaver of a crime victim in a hinterland village but they found out that the rebels had placed a grenade under the body.
“So they did it in the past,” he added.
Dela Rosa said based on the report to him, the NPA’s Front Committee 51 has been operating in the area.
Chief Supt. Manuel Gaerlan, the Southern Mindanao police chief, said the rebels, numbering about 20, initially tried to set off a landmine but the explosive failed to go off.
He said when the landmine failed to explode, the rebels then trained their guns on the patrol car. The unexploded IED had been recovered near the actual ambush site.
The policemen were there to investigate the killing of two persons (not one as earlier reported) in Sibayan when ambushed, said the Davao del Sur police director, Senior Supt. Samuel Gadingan.
Gaerlan said the rebels took the firearms and personal belongings of the slain policemen before fleeing.
Police investigators said they also recovered a number of empty shells for 7.62-guns near the bodies of Rabor and the two other slain officers. The policemen from Bansalan were armed with Armalite rifles, which used the 5.56-ammunition. The NPA has AK-47s, which use the 7.62-ammunition. SFM/rga
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