Bukidnon convoy attack to isolate Reds further: DND

MANILA The Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army's (CPP-NPA) unprovoked anti-personnel mine attack against a convoy carrying troops, local volunteers and foreign observers at Sitio Nasandigan, Barangay Kalabugao, Impasug-ong town, Bukidnon Thursday will further alienate them from the masses.

This was bared by Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana when sought for comment by reporters on the incident.

Also, the anti-personnel mine attack seems to indicate that the rebels, weakened by the surrender of thousands of fighters and supporters for the past months, have gone berserk.

"The CPP/NPA cadres have gone berserk. This latest act will further alienate them from the masses," Lorenzana said in a message to reporters Thursday night.

Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesperson Marine Brig. Gen. Edgard Arevalo earlier denounced the attack as it was carried out by the rebels without apparent concern on the visiting foreign observers and local civilian volunteers, who were also in the convoy.

"We denounce strongly this attack on foreign observers who were in (the) country to visit various projects of Indigenous Peoples in the locality. They are non-combatant civilians," he added.

At least 11 people, including seven soldiers, were wounded in the incident.

Foreign observers from IP communities in Vietnam, Myanmar, Indonesia and Malaysia came to Sitio Mintapod, Barangay Hagpa, Impasug-ong, Bukidnon to observe the activity of IP community volunteers belonging to Higaonon Amamag Malandang Olandok Gagaw (HAMOG), a non-government organization which promotes cultural preservation in the area.

The group is also scheduled to have a forest visitation for their PAUNLAY TA AGHIMICU (forest visitation phase II).

HAMOG sought the assistance of the Impasug-ong IP Mandatory Representatives and the Philippine Army for security during their activity.

"That is a totally detestable act by the CPP-NPA that deserves widespread, global condemnation. It only shows that contrary to their portrayed role, they are anti-IP progress. The CPP-NPA wants our rural folks to remain poor and dejected," Arevalo added.

He said Filipinos should all unite and reject the terrorist CPP-NPA, which has proven itself to be a menace to the society and puts the country in a bad light by its deliberate use of anti-personnel mines.

The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency

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