Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Counter measures

From the Mindanao Times (Jul 19): Counter measures

AFP intensifies troops vs NPA’s plan to attack Davao before Sona

THE ARMED Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has directed their units to intensify their security measures to counter the reported plan of the communist rebels to conduct massive nationwide attacks, specifically in the hometown of President Rodrigo Duterte, before his State of the Nation Address (Sona) on Monday.
Gen. Eduardo Año, AFP chief of staff, said the report is based on the information that has been gathered by their intelligence community inside the movement.

“(The communist party) just wants to ruin the Sona of the President,” Año told Davao reporters in an interview yesterday at the AFP’s general headquarters in Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo, Quezon City. “They just want na pahiyain si (to embarrass) President Duterte.

So the AFP, Año said, should be ahead of their plans through the intensified operations against the rebels.

Año said they learned about the attack plans as they recovered information from the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), the New People’s Army (NPA) and National Democratic Front.
“It shows that they have ordered the NPA to conduct nationwide offensives in all possible targets like police stations and military/Cafgu detachments and ambush our troops before Sona,” he said.

Año said the NPA is already conducting various attacks immediately after the ceasefire because they just want to show that they still have their force.

The military chief said that all NPA units are directed to conduct tactical offensives, particularly in Davao and Caraga regions, because those areas have the most numbers of their guerrillas.

Three days ago, troopers of the Army’s 60th and 25th Infantry Battalions (IB) conducted combat operation that resulted to the death of eight rebels and the recovery of seven high powered firearms.

Earlier, the military units also overran rebel camps in Ifugao and in Caraga.

Año reiterated his call to the community to support the government in the fight against the rebels.

“That is why we are very grateful to the civilians who gave information to us,” Año said.

The AFP chief also said they are in alert for the possible spillover of the Marawi crisis to other areas.

He said that Maute, from the initial force of 600, now has around 120 members.

“Some of them have already escaped (Marawi),” Año said, adding that even 50 Maute members can still conduct atrocities like bombings and even attack small towns.

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