Army braces for NPA attacks on CPP anniversary
LINGAYEN, Pangasinan — Army soldiers operating in the provinces of Pangasinan, Nueva Vizcaya and Nueva Ecija are preparing for possible New People’s Army (NPA) attacks, on the run-up to the 49th anniversary of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) on Dec. 26.
The CPP was founded on Dec. 26, 1968, in a remote village in Alaminos City in Pangasinan.
The NPA may be on the run, following President Duterte’s declaration that the armed communist rebels are terrorists, but it may still launch attacks to mark the CPP anniversary, said Lt. Col. George Bergonia, commanding officer of the Army’s 84th Infantry Battalion based in San Jose City in Nueva Ecija.
Two NPA guerrilla fronts used to operate in the Caraballo mountains straddling Pangasinan, Nueva Vizcaya and Nueva Ecija, said Bergonia, who attended the Pangasinan peace and order council meeting here on Friday.
One front operates in eastern Pangasinan and its members have been sighted in the remote villages of the towns of Umingan, San Quintin, Natividad and San Nicolas, he said.
But this rebel outfit was disbanded after nine of its members, including its leader, Joel Managan alias “Ka Razul,” were killed in an encounter in Carranglan town in Nueva Ecija on Sept. 20, he said.
After the encounter, the NPA rebels in eastern Pangasinan have been reduced into a single group that is “on the run,” he said. —GABRIEL CARDINOZA
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