DAVAO CITY (Mindanao Examiner / Mar. 31, 2008) – Communist rebels on Monday warned of more attacks against government and military targets in the southern Philippines.
The rebels, belonging to the New People’s Army, also vowed to execute soldiers and policemen who committed serious violations of human rights and civilians working as spy for the Philippine military.
“Combatants of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police, and their intelligence officers and operatives, those who have committed serious violations of human rights, worst plunderers, persons who have blood debts against the people and the revolutionary movement and the most horrible type of criminals have all the reason to worry about the New People's Army,” Rigoberto Sanchez, a rebel spokesman, said.
The NPA also took responsibility for the killing of a militia leader, Nelson Sam-o, in a raid March 28 in Compostela Valley province. Sam-o was also the village chieftain of San Jose, a hamlet in Monkayo town.
Sam-o was the second village chieftain killed in just ten days in Mindanao. On March 18, rebel forces also executed Custodio Varona, of Fatima village in Paquibato district in the outskirts of Davao City.
“Combat troops of the AFP, PNP and paramilitary forces are legitimate military targets. Under the Geneva Convention and its Protocols, the members of parties in armed conflict, except their medical personnel and chaplains and those considered hors de combat, are legitimate military targets,” Sanchez said.
The outlawed Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) last week ordered the NPA, its military wing, to intensify attacks on government and military targets as part of its new offensive. It said the main purpose of the offensive is to seize weapons and increase the number of rebel forces in the country.
The CPP broke off peace talks with Manila in 2004 after the United States on the government's prodding, listed the communist groups as foreign terrorist organizations and froze their assets abroad.
Last week, more than 2,000 people, mostly members of the anti-communist group called the National Alliance for Democracy, held an indignation rally in Tambulig town in Zamboanga del Sur province.
Major Gamal Hayudini, commander of the military's 4th Civil Relations Group, said more and more people are joining anti-communist rallies in the southern Philippines to denounce the NPA atrocities.
“The NPA is just echoing its frustrations; it is act desperation of the part of the CPP and NPA. It is just a deception, it’s an old story. The people are supporting us, they are supporting the government and as a matter of fact, many rebels and their supporters have returned to the folds of the law,” Hayudini said.
The NPA, which celebrated its 39th anniversary March 29, is still fighting for the establishment of a Maoist state in the Philippines. (Mindanao Examiner)