DAVAO CITY, Philippines — The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) said the communist rebel’s involvement in a clash with the military in Monkayo, Compostela Valley province was the New People’s Army (NPA) response to the offensive operation by government troopers despite the former’s yuletide holiday truce.
“The AFP took advantage of the NPA ceasefire by mounting a military offensive in their desperation to spoil the political and cultural assemblies of revolutionary forces in line with the CPP’s 50th-anniversary celebration.,” CPP said in a statement.
“Clearly alert and with the help of the masses, the NPA unit was able to counter ambush the AFP offensive and cause casualties on the enemy forces. The AFP brought the losses they suffered upon themselves,” it added.
Eleven soldiers were wounded on December 26 after 101 Division Recon Company and 25th Infantry Batallion conducting military operation had clashed with an undetermined number of communist guerillas at Sitio Tinago, Brgy. Mt. Diwata, Monkayo, Compostela Valley province.
In a statement, 10th Infantry Division said that NPAs were allegedly forcing people to join the 50th anniversary of CPP last Wednesday. It claimed that the NPA was also laying improvised explosive devices along the roads.
Brigadier General Jose Faustino, the 10th ID Commander, condemned the attack and commended its troops in “preventing the planned plenum and atrocities” of the communist group that day.
But CPP said: “Despite their offensives, the AFP, however, failed to detect hundreds of other secret assemblies mounted nationwide.”
The incident happened following President Rodrigo Duterte rejected the holiday ceasefire declared by the communist group.
Church leaders from Philippine Ecumenical Peace Platform (PEPP) earlier called on the government to reciprocate the holiday ceasefire declared by the NPA as they appeal on Duterte to revert its order to its forces to “destroy” the CPP and all its alleged legal front organizations.
They called on Duterte anew to instead pursue peace through “principled dialogue” and “that the peace talks are still the most viable option to attain a just and enduring peace in the country.”(davaotoday.com)