The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) today clarified that the recent ambushes mounted by the New People’s Army (NPA) in Surigao del Sur and Samar are well within international rules of war. The Party issued the statement following the Commission on Human Rights’s condemnation on Saturday of the offensives.
“With all due respect, we take exception to CHR’s presumption that the attacks were “senseless violations on the right to life,” said CPP Chief Information Officer Marco L. Valbuena.
“The three ambushes referred to by the CHR were all aimed at military targets and are legitimate acts of war as stipulated in the Geneva Conventions,” he clarified.
NPA ambushes well within intl rules of war
— Marco L. Valbuena (@marco_cpp) October 11, 2020
The October 4 encounter in Lianga, Surigao del Sur was against Magahat-Bagani paramilitaries. Three armed paramilitaries were killed in the firefight, including its leader Hawudon Jomar Bucales. Investigations have determined that Bucales is the mastermind behind the 2015 massacre of civilians in the same town. The Magahat-Bagani is a tool used by the 3rd Infantry Battalion in combat and psywar operations.
The October 2 ambush in Lanuza town in the same province was against PFC Ariel Guinsod Maca, a 36th IB personnel who handled CAFGU recruitment in Barangay Pakwan and reportedly coerced Lumad residents to surrender as “NPA members.” NPA-Surigao del Sur spokesperson Sandara Sidlakan dismissed claims that Maca was tortured.
The ambush last October 7 in Jiabong town, Samar, was against local counterinsurgency police forces. “We are awaiting details from the local NPA command as regards reports that civilians were hurt in the action,” said Valbuena.