- Another attack was staged by the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army (CPP-NPA) against the Rebolusyonaryong Partido ng Manggagawa-Pilipinas-Revolutionary Proletarian Army-Alex Boncayao Brigade (RPA-ABB) in Alimodian town, Iloilo on Wednesday, the Philippine Army confirmed.
In an interview Thursday, Capt. Cenon Pancito III, spokesperson of the Army's 3rd Infantry Division (3ID), said the group attacked by the rebels is under the Nielo dela Cruz group.
Pancito said the NPA ambushed 16 RPA-ABB members in Cunsad village after reportedly detonating an anti-personal landmine.
He said the RPA-ABB was helping secure the nearby Abang-Abang village that was celebrating its patron's fiesta. "When they were going back to their base, they were fired upon by the NPA under the Southern Front," he said.
No casualties were recorded on the part of the RPA-ABB.
Pancito said the Army has already sent additional teams in the vicinity of the attack to verify the information and augment the RPA-ABB fighters.
Although the group involved in the attack is different from the RPA-ABB group chaired by Veronica Tabara that were decommissioned last Sept. 19 at Camp Peralta, Jamindan, Capiz, Pancito said the dela Cruz group is already considered an ally of the government.
"They were not included in those who earlier surrendered to the government but our negotiation and localized peace talks with this group are ongoing. We already recognize this as a body who already defunct from the CPP-NPA principles," Pancito said.
Last Jan. 12, one of the former members of the RPA-ABB was also hurt in a shooting after an attack by around seven members of the CPP-NPA led by one Joven Ceralvo in Camia village, San Joaquin town.
Pancito said the CPP-NPA wants to demoralize the former rebels through initiating the recent attacks.
The NPA would really have to give a signal that the group should not depart from their principles. What they are doing now is to send a signal that they are a force to reckon with and there is something bad that will happen if they (RPA-ABB) decide to support the government already, Pancito said.
The Philippine Army, meanwhile, has assured that the government will continue to protect former rebels from any threats of the CPP-NPA.
Source: Philippines News Agency