From the Mindanao Examiner (Jul 30): Commies mock military in Duterte hometown
Communist rebels on Monday mocked the military for declaring President Rodrigo Duterte’s hometown, Davao, as free from the influence of the New People’s Army and even freed a police officer there after 7 months in captivity.
Rigoberto Sanchez, a rebel spokesman, said Inspector Menardo Cui was released in Salaysay village in Baguio District on humanitarian grounds and handed over to Duterte’s special assistance Christopher Go on July 27.
“Despite the much-ballyhooed declaration of the fascist AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) that Davao City is virtually free of the New People’s Army, the NPA Regional Operations Command, through its custodial force, released NPA Prisoner of War Menardo N. Cui, PNP Badge No. 0-28281, on July 27 in Sitio Indawhong in Barangay Salaysay, Baguio District following his 7-month detention,” he said.
“Special Assistant to the President, Christopher Go was at hand to receive POW Cui, a move that only showed that the US-Duterte regime has failed to obliterate the reality that the NPA continues to be a belligerent force in the country,” he added.
The 48-year old Cui was taken hostage by rebels during a raid on December 28, 2017 in President Roxas town in North Cotabato where he is the deputy police chief, and subsequently declared him a prisoner of war.
Sanchez said a day after Cui’s safe release, rebel forces killed at least 6 soldiers sent by the military to pursue the NPA in the village of Tambobong also in Baguio District.
“AFP troops deployed for combat and pursuit operations against the NPA custodial force were hit by command-detonated explosives in Sitio Kamarag in Barangay Tambobong in Baguio District at around 10:25 am. Initial reports revealed that the enemy sustained at least 6 casualties in the NPA offensive,” he said.
He said while Duterte has declared the NPA and its revolutionary forces as terrorists and criminals, and scuttled the peace talks with the National Democratic Front, the President nevertheless sent Go to fetch the prisoner. “By sending his closest emissary and chief representative, Duterte has unwittingly acknowledged the status of belligerency acquired by the NPA under international laws,” Sanchez said.
Sanchez also rejected Duterte’s proposal for a localized peace talks with rebel forces, saying, this will only serve the pacification and surrender campaign and psychological war operations of the US-Duterte regime. “The NPA is adamant not to be made party to local peace negotiations that reject the masses’ clamour for genuine land reform and national industrialization,” he said.
There was no immediate reaction from the Eastern Mindanao Command and 10th Infantry Division in Davao City over Sanchez’s claims, but police authorities also launched an operation to arrest four people being linked to the communist group following the recent release of warrants in Nueva Ecija province against former lawmakers Satur Ocampo, Teddy Casiño; and former Agrarian Reform Secretary Rafael Mariano and National Anti-Poverty Commission Secretary Liza Maza over murder charges filed over a decade ago.
The Communist Party of the Philippines on Monday also denounced the arrest orders and branded the murder charges as trumped-up cases. This is a pointed attack against the broad democratic forces resisting Duterte’s tyrannical rule and moves to establish a dictatorship. It is a portent of a more general crackdown following successive arrests and detention against activists and human rights workers across the country,” it said.
“In just over two years, Duterte’s human rights record has surpassed (President Gloria) Arroyo’s in terms of extrajudicial killings in the drug war. With Arroyo (now House Speaker) by his side, the attacks against the progressive and democratic forces are set to further intensify,” it said.