Alleged NPA rebels killed in Rizal part of Joma Sison’s ‘death squad’, DILG says

Robie de Guzman   •   January 5, 2021   •   626

Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founding chairman Jose Maria “Joma” Sison

MANILA, Philippines – The five suspected members of the New People’s Army (NPA) killed in a shootout in Baras, Rizal in December 2020 were part of the death squads allegedly deployed by Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Maria “Joma” Sison, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año said on Tuesday.

Año said the slain group of rebels were deployed in Southern Luzon to assassinate top national and local government leaders, and police and military officers over “blood debts.”

“We can now confirm that the five NPA members killed in Barangay San Juan, Baras, Rizal were part of a death squad that was supposed to carry out the directive of Joma Sison to assassinate government and civilian leaders,” the DILG chief said in a statement.

“Isang tagumpay para sa atin na napigilan ang mga ganitong mga operasyon ng NPA lalo pa’t ito’y isang tuwirang pagbabanta sa buhay ng mga pinuno ng bansa at maging ng mga sibilyan,” he added.

The shootout allegedly occurred as government troops were about to serve a warrant of arrest against Antonio “Dads” Cule for frustrated murder charges issued by the Regional Trial Court branch 65 in Infanta, Quezon Province.

Cule was tagged as the finance officer of an NPA unit that collected revolutionary taxes in Southern Tagalog.

CPP Central Committee Information Officer Marcos Valduena earlier said that “there is a standing order for the NPA to form partisan teams to meet out punishment against enemy units and officers who have committed bloody crimes against the people.”

Año said Sison’s move to deploy communist death squads to urban areas “intends to bring the NPA’s reign of terror in the countryside to the cities. “The PNP and AFP will do its utmost to protect the people from these terrorists in sheep’s clothing. We will crush these urban terrorist cells before they can begin their reign of terror,” he said.

The DILG chief urged the Commission on Human Rights and even the so-called Makabayan Bloc to condemn the deployment of NPA death squads in urban areas to prove that they are truly not members or fronts of the Communist Party.

He said that assassinations perpetrated by the NPA Death Squads are clearly extra-judicial killing “which the CPP is now bringing to the urban areas after decades of perfecting armed terrorism in the mountains.”
Año said the supposed deployment of NPA partisan units is a “clear and convincing proof that the Anti-Terrorism Council did the right thing in designating CPP and NPA as ‘terrorist organizations.’”

“Ngayon ay hindi na nila maikakaila ang kanilang tunay na kulay at motibo. Sila ay mga terorista na kailanman ay hindi naghangad ng kapayapaan kundi ang maghasik ng kaguluhan, pumatay ng mga puwersa ng gobyerno, para pabagsakin ang gobyerno,” he said.

In the 1980s, the CPP-NPA first deployed its “sparrow units” in urban centers and murdered hundreds of policemen, military officers, and civilians in Metro Manila, Cebu, Davao, Iloilo, and other areas to speed up its protracted people’s war, sow chaos, and bring down the government, the DILG said.

Reds agree not to block safe, prompt delivery of COVID-19 vaccines to remote communities

Marje Pelayo   •   February 9, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) agrees on the importance of coronavirus vaccines reaching the intended communities without delay.

In response to the appeal of President Rodrigo Duterte, the group assured not to cause any delay in the transportation of COVID-19 vaccines to areas they consider as bulwarks of its armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA).

“The Communist Party of the Philippines must guarantee that the vaccines in the course of their being transported to areas where no city health officers or medical persons, huwag ninyong galawin ang medisina. Allow the vaccines to be transported freely and safely,” Duterte said during Monday’s public address.

However, CPP chief information officer Marco Balbuena said they prefer humanitarian groups to facilitate the transportation, distribution and inoculation.

“We strongly suggest that the transportation, distribution and inoculation drive of Covid-19 vaccines especially in the interior areas be handled by the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Philippine Red Cross and other civilian humanitarian agencies whose personnel are properly trained and who have the facilities to undertake such missions,” Balbuena said.

They want every non-Red Cross vehicle to have proper markings during delivery and as much as possible, no military vehicles among them as there might be miscommunication that could lead to encounters.

“Non-Red Cross vehicles that will be used as Covid-19 vaccine transporters must be clearly and properly marked with a Red Cross over white background,” Balbuena noted.

But according to Malacañang, the government’s vaccine rollout program will push through as planned.

“We have a rollout plan. Iyon po ang masusunod kahit ano pang sabihin ng CPP-NPA,” said Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque.

“I guess they have freedom of expression but they are tagged as a terrorist group so parang they can express their opinion but hanggang dun lang po yun,” he added. MNP (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

Palace tells AFP: Be prudent in releasing list of persons linked to Reds

Robie de Guzman   •   January 25, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang on Monday advised the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to exercise prudence in disclosing names of individuals tied to the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA).

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made the suggestion after the military drew flak for erroneously identifying some alumni of the University of the Philippines (UP) as supposed members of the NPA.

“Defense Secretary Lorenzana has apologized for mistakes. Let’s leave it at that,” Roque said.

“I can only suggest that they may be prudent para hindi na po napapa-apologize ang ating Secretary of National Defense,” he added.

The AFP Civil-Military Operations Office apologized on Sunday after it posted on Facebook a list of names of UP students who supposedly joined the NPA, triggering complaints over alleged misinformation and inconsistency.

The agency said it has launched an internal investigation on how the list got published and assured that personnel involved will be held accountable. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

AFP apologizes for ‘inconsistent’ list of students who allegedly joined the NPA

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 25, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has apologized for the inconsistencies in its list of students who allegedly joined the New People’s Army (NPA).

In a Facebook post, the AFP apologized to the individuals affected by the list and announced that an investigation as to how the list got published is underway.

“We sincerely apologize for those who were inadvertently affected by inconsistencies regarding the list of students who joined the NPA (died or captured) that was posted in the AFP Information Exchange Facebook account,” the statement reads.

The statement also said the AFP will review its process and procedures to ensure similar incidents will not occur in the future.

“The Office of the J7, AFP is already conducting an internal investigation as to how the list got published. Personnel who are responsible will be held to account,” according to the AFP statement.

“We want to assure the public that we are now reviewing our processes and procedures to ensure that similar incident will not happen again in the future,” the statement further reads.

The list was published on the AFP’s official Facebook page which has already been taken down. The AFP  also said individuals who are found responsible for posting the list will be held accountable.

Meanwhile, University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman Chancellor Fidel Nemenzo expressed his concern over the AFP’s baseless accusations and red tagging which includes UP students and alumni.

“It is unthinkable that despite the millions of taxpayers’ money poured into military intelligence, the AFP is making such baseless accusations, in the process violating the civil liberties and putting at risk the lives of responsible citizens who are actively contributing to nation-building in their chosen professions,” he said.

“We are worried that a military database that is riddled with factual errors may unduly become the basis for overt and covert military action against our students and alumni across four decades or more,” he added. AAC (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

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