Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Army appeals to Rebels to spare civilians

From the Philippine News Agency (Mar 5): Army appeals to Rebels to spare civilians

For the nth time, the Philippine Army has appealed to the New People'sArmy (NPA) in Western Visayas to spare civilians from harm in the protracted armed conflict between government troops and NPA rebels owing to increasing occurrences of civilians being shot at or maimed by hidden explosives believed to be the handiwork of the rebels.

Major Rey Tiongson, Spokesman for the 3rd Infantry Division, Philippine Army at Jamindan, Capiz, said that from 2009 to 2012, 11 IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices) were retrieved by the Army in discrete places of the region's outback.

For obvious reasons, Tiongson said, the explosives were intended to hurt pursuing soldiers and even persons not belonging to the military establishment.

Last year, rebels shot a military convoy in Tubungan, Iloilo, wounding several civilians given free rides by soldiers as handsome gesture to win the hearts of the countryside folks.

Tiongson said further, that the rebels' strategy of sowing terror and violence is a significant sign
of the NPA's weakening, and resorting to intimidation by targetting civilians is a desperate way to prop up its sagging image.

The Philippine Army vows to support the government's peace efforts all over the country, Tiongson said.


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