By FROILAN GALLARDO
Special Correspondent .
SUSPECTED New People’s Army rebels torched heavy equipment in the villages near Davao City where President Duterte holds residence.
The Armed Forces’ Eastern Command said the rebels went to Callawa village in Buhangin District and burned four dump trucks and a back hoe before midnight Saturday.
The following morning, the rebels went to another village in Calinan and burned another heavy equipment.
These incidents marred the Holy Week celebration in Mindanao where most residents are devout Roman Catholics.
The military is bracing for more attacks after the NPA, the longest running communist insurgency in Asia, celebrated 50th anniversary, last March 29.
Capt. Tere Ingente, information officer of the 4th Infantry Division, said they have alerted all Army units in the northern and eastern Mindanao to be wary of NPA liquidation units out to target soldiers and policemen.
Ingente said they have to warn the soldiers and policemen who were young to know how NPA liquidation units operate.
President Duterte last month said he hired a group of retired police officers to teach the young Army soldiers and policemen of the rebel liquidation units known as “Sparrows.”
A retired police intelligence officer who hunted the NPA Sparrows in the ’80s said the present crop of soldiers and policemen would be “easy targets for liquidation.”
“The Sparrow unit operated by team of six to know their target’s movements, routine. Once they know your movement, the will strike,” said the officer who asked not to be identified.
The police officer has survived NPA Sparrow attacks twice but was wounded severely.
“By the looks of these young soldiers they are not aware that the rebels are already tailing him,” he said.
The NPA sparrow units were notorious in the 80s targeting soldiers and policemen on the urban streets of most cities in the country.
The Communist Party later put a stop on their deployment after numerous complaints were received of their tenacity and violence.