By Ben Serrano,
Sitio Brazil, Barangay Mat-I, SURIGAO City — The younger generation of New People’s Army guerrilla commanders here expressed readiness to defend the country from foreign invaders. However, the Duterte administration should first dismantle and disarm tribal militias that have been commissioned by the Army.
In an interview, Ka Edroy, political officer of NPA Caraga Region said the paramilitary troops going around the hinterlands would hinder their campaign against foreign invaders if this anti-insurgency troops would still be around despite the bilateral ceasefire.
“How can we fight foreign invaders if there are these paramilitary groups composed mostly of lumads armed by the military also targeting and shooting us? This is also the reason why our slowed down combat against illegal drugs because those drug suspects especially the one we hated most, the shabu pushers, our target for so long are hiding in thickly populated communities where there is presence not only of law enforcers but paramilitary forces,” Ka Edroy rhetorically asked.
They claimed they will also asked members of the National Democratic Front and government peace panels to include in the on-going Oslo, Norway peace talks the total disarmaments of lumad paramilitary groups now existing which clear and present danger to peace and populace of Caraga Region.
The young NPA leaders with their NPA armed troops claimed that in case the on-going peace talks in Oslo, Norway succeed, they are all ready to lay down their firearms and stop fighting the military and police while hoping to be enlisted by the Philippine government in case of foreign invasion.
“But if oppression, massive poverty, government neglect, military and police abuses, widespread corruption still exist and killings by the military and paramilitary continues then we don’t have any reason to lay down arms but continue the civil war. That’s why we will study the contents of the peace agreement and will monitor the events in Oslo, Norway from now on,” Ka Edroy added.