DAVAO CITY, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte will “regret” plans to arm firemen and include them in the anti-insurgency campaign of the government, said the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).
The CPP in a statement on Sunday, August 3, said Duterte’s plan to give weapons to firemen shows his failure to quell the communist movement in the country.
“We always hear AFP claims that it is winning the war. Why then is Duterte desperate to arm firemen against the NPA?” the CPP said.
“At any rate, he will regret this. The NPA will have more sources for its arms,” it added.
Last Thursday, August 1, President Duterte bared he wanted Bureau of Fire Protection personnel to help in the government’s war against insurgency.
“You know, you have to help in the law and order. You are not limited to just fire. That’s a b******* idea. You have to go around and help the policeman and the military,” Duterte said in a speech during the 28th founding anniversary of the BFP.
Aside from putting out fires, the BFP is mandated, upon the direction of the President, to assist the Armed Forces of the Philippines “in times of national emergency” under the Section 12 of Republic Act 6975 or the “Department of the Interior and Local Government Act of 1990.”
President Duterte created the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) through Executive Order No. 70 last December. It aims to institutionalize the whole-of-nation approach mobilizing all government agencies in its campaign to end insurgency in the country.
Earlier this year, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said the government hopes to win the war against insurgency in three years, the time President Duterte’s term ends. The new deadline refuted Duterte’s prediction last September that the communist insurgency will be wiped-out by the second quarter this year. (davaotoday.com)