NDF calls for more frequent attacks

By Jose Rodel Clapano

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The National Democratic Front (NDF), the umbrella organization representing the CPP-NPA in peace negotiations with the government, threatened to wage war if President Rodrigo Duterte continues to ignore the peace efforts and officially classifies the rebels as terrorists. AP/File

MANILA, Philippines — Communist rebels warned yesterday of “more frequent and more intensified attacks” against the government once President Duterte formally tags the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing the New People’s Army (NPA) as terrorist groups.

The National Democratic Front (NDF), the umbrella organization representing the CPP-NPA in peace negotiations with the government, threatened to wage war if Duterte continues to ignore the peace efforts and officially classifies the rebels as terrorists.

NDF-Mindanao spokesman Joaquin Jacinto said yesterday that 50 years of struggle against the government have shown the CPP-NPA-NDF as an advocate and defender of the interests of exploited and oppressed Filipinos.

He said the CPP-NPA-NDF is essentially a revolutionary organization seeking to establish a society unshackled from imperialist domination.

“Thus, under whatever circumstance, the CPP-NPA-NDF can never ever be terrorists. Thus, the NDF-Mindanao calls on the New People’s Army to launch more frequent and more intensified tactical offensives to frustrate military operations that only bring more death, destruction and misery to the people of Mindanao,” Joaquin said.

Duterte on Wednesday said he has ordered security forces to shoot communist rebels bearing firearms.

He revealed an executive order is being prepared to declare the NPA as a terrorist group.

Jacinto said Duterte is “greatly mistaken” in thinking the communist rebels and their supporters “will cower in fear in the face of his boasts and threats.”

He said Duterte is daydreaming in his objective to wipe out the CPP-NPA-NDF by the end of 2018.

Jacinto mentioned Presidential Decree 360, the supposed executive order to be signed declaring the CPP-NPA-NDF as a terrorist group.

He said PD 360 only reveals the Duterte administration’s “utter contempt for attaining just and lasting peace and its propensity towards a reign of death, destruction and tyranny.”

“Thus, it is only just and correct that the revolutionary movement in Mindanao and the entire nation, under the leadership of the Communist Party of the Philippines, respond through the New People’s Army by way of launching widespread and more frequent tactical offensives against the AFP, PNP (Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine National Police) and paramilitary troops that seek to ravage numerous hinterland communities in the entire island,” Jacinto said.

In Negros Island, the NPA has warned quarry operators of destruction of their equipment, as they owned up to the bombing of heavy equipment on Sunday in Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental.

Police said they are looking into extortion as the possible motive for the raid of a quarry site and the bombing in Kabankalan.

The police also dismissed the spate of attacks staged by the NPA in the Visayas as diversionary tactics by the rebel group.

PNP chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa said the series of NPA attacks in the region form part of a bigger plan in Mindanao.

Dela Rosa did not go into details on the NPA’s purported plans for Mindanao but stressed security forces are not pulling out from the Visayas.

“We will add forces here to prevent NPAs from doing more atrocities,” he said.

The military in Mindanao revealed the NPA is becoming more aggressive in attacking government troops. – Ben Serrano, Jennifer Rendon, Gilbert Bayoran, Ed Amoroso

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