Reds vow to resume attacks on gov’t after Marawi battle
KORONADAL CITY—Communist rebels operating in the provinces of South Cotabato and Davao del Sur said they would resume offensives against the military and police as the war in Marawi City had ended.
“We will take action in due time,” Efren Aksasato, speaking for the New People’s Army’s (NPA) Far South Mindanao Regional Operations Command, said.
Aksasato said the rebels would continue with the armed struggle because “there is no hope in President Duterte’s leadership.”
He said the NPA was previously hopeful of the Duterte presidency, but the Chief Executive’s stand on the peace process changed this.
“The directive of our higher leadership is to conduct offensives against government forces and we will commence soon, we are declaring war,” Aksasato said.
“He is antipeople and antipoor, especially in his drug war,” he said.
Aksasato said Duterte’s Army was also not keen about the peace process as it continued to wage war against the NPA.
“The military continued its operation against the NPA even during the ceasefire,” he said.
“He is showing his true color now,” said the rebel spokesperson.
Aksasato said the NPA would conduct tactical offensives, including ambuscades and bombings, of government forces and companies that were antipoor.
South Cotabato Gov. Daisy Avance Fuentes said that Aksasato’s statement was mere propaganda.
She said while the NPA operates in South Cotabato, rebel numbers were too insignificant.
“There are only a handful of them,” the governor said.
In Davao City, Mayor Sara Duterte said she was pursuing localized talks with communist rebels.
Sara formed a committee for the purpose, called the Davao City Peace Committee.—EDWIN FERNANDEZ, ALLAN NAWAL AND RICHEL V. UMEL