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Rebels threaten more attacks in parts of Southern Philippines
Publication Date : 25-03-2014
The New People’s Army, the armed unit of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), said on Tuesday it would intensify its attacks in Southern Mindanao following the arrest of CPP chairman Benito Tiamzon and his wife Wilma.
“The NPA’s regular troops and the people’s militia shall continue to conduct widespread and intensive tactical offensives to hit the Aquino regime’s armed forces whenever and wherever in the Southern Mindanao territory. It will seize more arms, inflict mounting casualties and accelerate the formation of more NPA platoons,” said NPA Medardo Arce Command spokesperson Rigoberto Sanchez in a statement.
The Philippines has one of Asia’s longest-running insurgencies. The CPP will celebrate its 45th year on March 29.
Military estimates say the NPA is currently 4000-people strong. A check at previous records reveals that it has not significantly changed in the last three years.
Sanchez said the arrest of the top NPA leaders “only emboldens the NPA to further intensify the people’s war in the region.”
He said the government was “daydreaming” when it said that the arrest of the Tiamzon couple was the demise of the revolutionary movement.
“The NPA-SMR (Southern Mindanao Region) is ever resolute to advance the guerrilla war to a higher stage because the roots of armed conflict are firmly embedded in a region heavily militarized by the fascist troops of the Armed Forces of the Philippines,” Sanchez said.
Sanchez also accused the military for being responsible for the spate of aerial bombings in Davao del Norte and Compostela Valley that are disrupting the lives of civilian peasants there.
Sanchez said that despite the armed forces’ pronouncement that several provinces in Mindanao have been free of insurgency, the military still deployed more troops there.
On Sunday, the military said it was prepared for retaliation by communist rebels after the arrest of their leaders.