MANILA – Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief-of-staff Gen. Felimon T. Santos Jr. on Tuesday commended military and police personnel for foiling three treacherous attempts of the New People’s Army (NPA) to commit atrocities despite the ceasefire in wake of the health crisis.
“I commend our soldiers for prevailing in three instances of treachery committed by the NPA since yesterday, April 6, despite their ceasefire declaration amid the threat of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic,” he said in a statement forwarded to reporters.
Santos was referring to the successful efforts of the 46th Infantry Battalion which foiled an attempted ambush by NPAs who placed landmines along a trail that connect Barangays Hubasan and Binanggaran in Calbiga, Samar.
“If not prevented, the mines could have endangered the lives of civilians who frequent the narrow footpath,” he added.
Another incident is the case of the 1st Infantry Battalion who intercepted two suspected NPA rebels over curfew violation in Barangay Llavac, Real, Quezon.
He said the suspects fled and left behind two anti-personnel mines and four blasting caps that could have been used to ambush military personnel and hurt civilians in the area.
The NPA earlier declared a truce beginning March 26 to April 15 reciprocating President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s declaration of unilateral ceasefire beginning March 19 to April 15 to allow government and military to maximize efforts in containing the Covid-19 threat.
Meanwhile, the Philippine National Police (PNP) also foiled NPA atrocities in Barangay Tangdanua, Pantukan, Davao De Oro on April 7.
Elements of the PNP Regional Mobile Force Company were fired upon by the NPA rebels that resulted in a firefight leaving one enemy dead. One AK-47 rifle was also confiscated on the site of the encounter.
Santos said these incidents manifest that the NPA cannot be trusted to keep their word and their ceasefire declaration as they continue to threaten civilians and disrupt peace in countryside communities.
“Unfortunately for them, the AFP and the PNP know better than to let these slide without a fight. We have more than enough manpower to deal with the pandemic and the treachery of the NPA rebels. Our proactive defense posture remains in place and we will not waver in our commitment to protect our people from the NPA,” he added.
The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United Kingdom, the European Union, the United States, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. (PNA)