DAVAO CITY, Philippines—The New People’s Army Operations Command in Davao region said it will further intensify its “revolutionary struggle” amid the Martial Law declaration in the island of Mindanao.
In a statement sent to media over the weekend, Rigoberto F. Sanchez, spokesperson of NPA in Southern Mindanao, said that “NPA sub-regional, front and other territorial units are directed to protect and defend the people in their areas of jurisdiction” at the same time it would complement efforts of the “people’s democratic government” in all levels in the region to campaign against and stop the Martial Law.
With the imposition of Martial Law in Mindanao, Sanchez said that communist rebels were also tasked to defend the “the masses in the offensive mode by launching tactical offensives against legitimate military targets.”
“All NPA units shall pre-empt abuses by military and police officers by imposing arrests and checkpoints against these Martial Law implementers. There is no other way for the people to enjoy its precious freedoms but by actively protecting such basic liberties. And it cannot be fought for without waging arms and advancing the war,” he said.
NPA’s statement came following the issuance of Proclamation No. 216 signed by President Rodrigo Duterte on May 23, imposing Martial Law and at the same time, suspending the privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus in Mindanao.
The armed-wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines criticized the President’s Martial Law declaration as
“a knee-jerk reaction to the Marawi incident but along-thought of plan by the military generals that helped catapult Duterte to the GRP presidency.”
“As hatched by the rabid, ultra-right, anti-communist diehards of his administration, among the targets of Duterte’s proclamation according to Gen. Delfin Lorenzana is the revolutionary movement in
Mindanao,” the NPA spokesperson said.
With this, Sanchez said that Duterte has given the NPA “the de facto and compelling reason to do away with ceasefire for the time being and intensify tactical offensives against his government.”
Apart from this, the Martial Law in Mindanao, according to Sanchez, resulted to warrantless arrests and apprehension of Moro civilians and other civilians while movement and usual routine in business establishments were regulated, and travel and movement by ordinary workers and commuters werestifled.”
He added that “cities are being transformed into garrisons, while struggling peasants, workers and leaders of people’s organizations are even made more vulnerable to harassments, abuses, torture, and threats.”
The NPA spokesperson has called for the public to rally against Duterte’s “foolhardy proclamation to protect their fundamental rights to life, security, expression, assembly, due process, movement, privacy and other basic rights.”
“Duterte’s proclamation is driving the Filipino people to take up arms and struggle against this government—ironically, acts of rebellion and insurrection which his proclamation seek to stifle,” Sanchez pointed out. (davaotoday.com)