The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) on Friday denounced the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippines National Police (PNP) for mounting relentless operations against the New People’s Army (NPA) amid the Covid-19 crisis. Military and police units across the country have carried out successive offensives resulting in armed encounters despite their commander-in-cheif’s ceasefire declaration.
Based on compilation of reports by NPA units, Duterte’s military and police forces are currently conducting counterinsurgency operations in at least 59 towns and cities, covering 91 rural villages across the country. This has resulted in at least seven armed encounters and widespread violation of human rights over the past three weeks.
Hours after Duterte’s ceasefire took effect on March 17, the 8th IB and 1st Special Forces Battalion bragged about mounting successive raids against NPA encampments in Sitio Bendum, Barangay Busdi, Malaybalay City, and in Mt. Kitanglad, Impasug-ong, Bukidnon.
On April 1, the 85th IB attacked an NPA unit in Barangay Ilayang Yuni, Mulanay. Another NPA unit was raided by 59th IB troopers in Barangay Mabunga, Gumaca on March 31. According to NPA forces in Quezon province, the AFP has also been conducting sustained combat operations in the towns of Lopez, Catanauan, Macalelon, Unisan Pade Burgos, Agdangan and Atimonan.
On March 28, the 80th IB also attacked an NPA unit conducting a medical mission in Barangay Puray, Rodriguez, Rizal.
On April 2, another NPA unit was raided by 44th IB troopers in Barangay Balagon, Silay, Zamboanga Sibugay. The same unit attacked another NPA camp in Barangay Peñaranda, Kabasalan in the same province on March 21.
Military and police operations are also causing grievous hardships on the masses. The AFP conducted artillery shelling and aerial bombardent in Sitio Tapayanon, Gupitan Village, Kapalong, Davao del Norte on March 24, and Barangay Cabuyuan, Mabini, Davao de Oro on March 18. The military also launched an airstrike in Bukidnon on March 29.
Two civilians accused of being NPA fighters were arrested in Sultan Kudarat and Surigao del Sur on March 18 and 19, respectively.
Last March 30, 11 Lumad peasants who were on their way home from hunting wild boar in the forests were illegally arrested by troopers of the 71st IB in Sitio Manggapaluway in Pantukan. One of them was also accused of being an NPA member.