MANILA The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) strongly condemned the New People's Army (NPA) for conducting four attacks during the Holy Week despite its pronouncement that it would not conduct any tactical offensive during the Lenten season.
"We condemn in the strongest terms possible the recent attacks conducted by the Communist NPA terrorists that disturbed the peaceful observance of the Holy Week and caused death and destruction in several communities in the country," AFP public affairs office chief, Lt. Col. Emmanuel Garcia, said Tuesday.
The same unprovoked attacks targeted government troops, as well as civilians and properties, he added.
"One of the attacks resulted in the death of two newly-surrendered NPAs who were members of the Militia ng Bayan in Montevista, Compostela Valley. The NPA terrorists ambushed the surrenderers and the soldiers accompanying them. The attack also endangered the lives of a barangay captain and a councilor who assisted the two former rebels. We believe that their former members are in possession of some knowledge that will expose the CPP-NPA-NDF (Communist Party of the Philippines-NPA-National Democratic Front)," Garcia said.
Aside from this, the NPAs also burned construction equipment, among them five backhoes, four dump trucks, and a bulldozer being used for the construction of a bypass road in Buhangin district in Davao City, causing millions of pesos in damage, he said.
"The burning of construction equipment intended for road construction once again manifests that the CPP-NPA-NDF is anti-development and anti-progress," the military official emphasized.
Garcia said such unprovoked attacks against the people and terror activities against communities only show the NPA's true color and reinforce its terror tag.
"Two other NPA-initiated violence in the form of harassment against AFP detachments occurred in Pigcawayan, Cotabato on March 28, and T'boli, South Cotabato on March 29, targeting soldiers. Despite that, troops were able to recover one M-16 rifle in Pigcawayan while no government casualty was incurred in both incidents," he added.
In line with this, Garcia reiterated the military's calls for all remaining NPA members to rejoin mainstream society and work for peace and progress.
Source: Philippine News Agency