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Philippines: Davao Prison Raid a ‘Big Slap’ on AFP, Police, Says NPA

Apr. 11, 2007

MERARDO ARCE COMMAND
Southern Mindanao Regional Operations Command
NEW PEOPLE’S ARMY

Press Statement
09 April 2007

DAPECOL ARMORY RAID A BIG SLAP IN THE FACE OF THE AFP/PNP; EXPOSES WEAKNESSES AND FUTILITY OF OPLAN BANTAY LAYA II

Combined units of the Merardo Arce Command (MAC)-New People’s Army (NPA) launched a daring raid on the armory of the Davao Penal Colony (DAPECOL) in Sto. Tomas, Davao del Norte early dawn yesterday. A tactical MAC-NPA platoon entered the DAPECOL compound at 1:30 AM and left at 1:50 AM. The 20-minute special operations seized the entire armory of DAPECOL which consisted of 105 long firearms, 3 short firearms, two handheld VHF radios and several rounds of ammunition. This is one of the biggest haul of the NPA since its founding in March 29, 1969.

DAPECOL security guards were not harmed since they were completely neutralized and did not offer any resistance. The command-detonated explosive which was detonated at about 4:00 AM along a portion of a road was not intended for any purpose other than to discourage and block any pursuit operation by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) or Philippine National Police (PNP). As it was, no civilians were put in harm’s way.

This tactical offensive is a big slap in the face of the AFP and PNP. It shows the inability of the forces of 10th Infantry Division-Eastern Mindanao Command to contain the consistent advance of the armed struggle waged by a revolutionary army that has a wide and deep mass base and cherished by the oppressed and exploited masses. Indeed, Lt. Gen. Rodolfo Obaniana’s claim of gaining the upperhand is proven to be nothing but braggadocio.

That the NPA is still able to launch tactical offensives not only against the mobile and territorial forces of the AFP and PNP conducting combat and special operations inside guerrilla zones and bases but also against perfectly legitimate targets located in towns and cities only reveals the many insurmountable weaknesses and problems of the AFP/PNP.

For one, their forces are overstretched in the ever-widening and deepening guerrilla areas and as such, are constantly vulnerable to NPA tactical offensives. Second, despite the vicious black propaganda against the NPA, the masses understand the necessity and justness of the armed struggle and are in fact, aroused to further revolutionary action in the face of open fascism and increasing human rights abuses under Mrs. Arroyo’s Oplan Bantay Laya. And third, the NPA is determined to frustrate and defeat the all-out war of Gloria Arroyo and in the process, punish her regime for the grave crimes it has committed against the Filipino people.

Oplan Bantay Laya Part I has been defeated. Oplan Bantay Laya Part II will end up the same notwithstanding Gen. Obaniana’s empty boasts. Together with AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Hermogenes Esperon, their fascist conceit will be punctured. #

(Sgd) RIGOBERTO F. SANCHEZ
Spokesperson
Merardo Arce Command
Southern Mindanao Regional Operations Command
New People’s Army

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