Continued NPA offensive vs gov’t ‘puzzles’ Palace
The government is “disturbed” by the recent attacks of communists rebels even after the National Democratic Front (NDF) ordered its armed wing to refrain from launching offensive against state forces.
The NDF had earlier urged the New People’s Army (NPA) to “refrain” from attacking government forces particularly in Mindanao amid the Marawi siege. The government also reciprocated NDF’s call.
READ: NDF tells NPA: Refrain from attacking gov’t forces in Mindanao
“We are disturbed by the recent NPA attacks, considering that their leaders in Europe issued a statement condemning the incident in Marawi, even offering to refrain from undertaking offensive operations in Mindanao to enable our government forces to deal with (terrorism and) focus on the rebellion still happening (in Mindanao),” Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella said in a statement on Saturday.
Abella said the NPA attacks cast doubt on the sincerity of the communist rebels on pursuing peace talks with the government.
“Several recent serious offensives in Mindanao and elsewhere in the country allegedly committed by the CPP, NPA, NDFP forces further fueled the public’s doubts on whether it is still worthwhile to continue the peace negotiations with them,” he said.
On June 17, the military engaged in a firefight with NPA rebels in Cateel, Davao Oriential where three rebels died. On the same day, the military again clashed with the rebels at Pantukan, Compostella Valley.
On June 18, around 40 rebels attacked a police station in Maasin town in Iloilo and took 12 firearms, including eight high-powered rifles.
READ: NPA rebels seize guns in Iloilo raid
“These NPA attacks disrupt the conducive and enabling environment indispensable in peacemaking and peacebuilding. In the meantime, we will await further validation of these recent incidents and will undertake corresponding and appropriate steps to deal decisively with the situation,” Abella said.
The scheduled peace talks between the government and the NDF on May 27 to June 2 were suspended following the continued attacks of rebels against government forces. JPV
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