President Duterte gestures during his speech at Camp Raja Sikatuna in Bohol
BOHOL, Philippines — In his speech last night at Camp Raja Sikatuna in Bohol,President Rodrigo Duterte said he is considering forming his own hit squad to combat the Special Partisan Unit (SPARU or sparrow) of the New People’s Army (NPA).
“Ngayon ang kulang talaga is ang ‘sparrow’ ko rin. Diyan lang man sila makalamang, sa bukid fight man yan. So mag-create ako ng sparrow — Duterte Death Squad against the SPARU,” he said.
The sparrow unit is known as the communist rebels’ hit squad during the regime of the late president Ferdinand Marcos in the 1980’s.
Last March, Duterte noted that there seems to be a resurgence of the NPA’s sparrow units.
“I will match their talent also for assassinating people. May armas yan sigurado…iyon ang balak ko,” Duterte said.
According to the President he will recruit former NPA members who have returned to the government fold to form his proposed hit squad.
The President’s statement comes amid continuing friction between the government and communist rebels, whose peace negotiations fell through in 2017 over continued attack on state troops.
Communist Party of the Philippines founding chairman, Joma Sison slammed the President’s plan, calling it a “dangerous proposal” that will bestow power upon the military to liquidate civilians suspected of being NPA members.
Sison also clarified that the communist rebels’ sparrow units had long been defunct.
Meanwhile, the President is also planning to deploy a bigger military force in Jolo, Sulu to counter the forces of the Abu Sayyaf terrorist group.
“Talagang isang division ilagay ko, not only a company, not only a battalion, not a regiment — but I’m going to place an entire division for the islands towards Sabah,” Duterte said.
The deployment of additional military forces in Jolo comes after the death of five soldiers and wounding of several others in a deadly encounter with the terrorist group. — Joan Nano | UNTV News & Rescue