THE Armed Forces over the weekend said New People’s Army (NPA) rebels should stop staging unprovoked attacks against civilian and military targets if they are really sincere in resuming the peace negotiations.
“If the NPAs are really sincere and one with the National Democratic Fron in their intent to resume the talks with government, they should start manifesting their intention by putting a stop to their terroristic activities which continue to harm our citizens and halt development in the communities,” Armed Forces public affairs office chief Col. Edgard Arevalo said Sunday.
He made this statement as insurgents continued to conduct arson and harassment attacks against business firms and government troops despite the announcement of the government and NDF pronouncement on resumption of peace talks in The Netherlands.
Several NPA arson attacks were recorded by the AFP in recent weeks, including the torching of a commercial transport bus in Makilala, North Cotabato last March 13, and burning of a delivery van owned by Fighter Wine Co. in San Fernando, Bukidnon, the same day.
The military said other incidents of harassment include the series of NPA attacks in Barangay Hinimbangan, Kitcharao in Agusan del Norte which displaced 89 families this March 15.
“While the AFP sees that the NDF continues to push for the resumption of the peace negotiations, it is clear that they are also losing hold of their men on the ground. The NPA, with their twisted ideals are attacking innocent civilians, extorting money or burning private properties,” Arevalo said.
He said the NPA has already conducted 62 offensives since the start of the year.
Arevalo said these include abductions, arsons, extortions, ambushes and harassments against civilians and soldiers.
“On our part, we will continue to conduct combat operations against the terrorist NPAs until we receive an official communication from the Office of the President suspending the all-out war,” Arevalo said. (pna)