The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) directs all units of the New People’s Army (NPA) to be on extra alert in the face of successive attacks mounted by units of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) across the country. These attacks have been carried out by the AFP despite the ceasefire declarations separately issued by its commander-in-chief (March 19 to April 15) and by the Party (March 26 to April 15).
The Party moreover calls on the NPA to exercise strict discipline to ensure secrecy in their maneuvers to deny the AFP any opportunity to attack while giving the Red fighters the widest latitude to undertake public health and economic services to the people. They must remain ever ready to engage in battle when necessary to defend themselves and the masses against offensive operations of the AFP.
The Party denounces the AFP for its relentless and costly combat, psywar, drone surveillance, and bombing operations which target local NPA units in the revolutionary territories. Based on compilation of initial field reports by NPA commands over the past two weeks, the AFP has continued to carry out military operations in at least 39 towns and cities, covering 61 rural villages across the country.
Units of the AFP are not only completely disregarding the ceasefire order issued by its commander-in-chief; worse, they are causing greater suffering and disquiet among the people who are already threatened by the pandemic.
The AFP’s continuing military operations against the NPA is in direct contempt of the United Nations and its call for a global ceasefire.
Instead of relenting in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic, AFP combat and psywar operations have intensified with the clear aim of preventing the NPA, mass organization and people’s health committees from conducting their own public health measures and production work in the revolutionary territories.
The operations of the AFP against the NPA’s public health work in the communities is no different from the Duterte regime’s effort to stop the office of Vice-president Leni Robredo from conducting their own relief efforts which are regarded as “competing” and “undermining” the Duterte government.
In these times of humanitarian crisis, the people need all the help they can get to surmount the pandemic and its impact on the people’s livelihood and economic well-being. The Duterte government and the AFP are proving themselves more concerned about suppressing the brewing political turmoil as a result of ineptness and widespread breakdown of government services.
The Party, furthermore, denounces the AFP for twisting facts by claiming that the recent armed encounters between the AFP and NPA are a result of NPA attacks. This is a desperate attempt to discredit the NPA whose units, despite limited resources, are extending all efforts to assist the people to surmount Covid-19 crisis.
There have been at least five clashes so far since the separate ceasefire declarations as a result of the relentless operations of the AFP. On March 28, an NPA unit encamped in the mountainous part of Barangay Pungay, Rodriguez, Rizal was attacked by a unit of the 80th IB. On March 31, another NPA unit in Barangay Mabunga, Gumaca, Quezon was attacked by a unit of the AFP’s 59th IB. The said AFP unit has been conducting non-stop combat operations in at least five towns in Quezon province. On April 1, another NPA unit was attacked by the 85th IB in Barangay Ilayang Yuni, Mulanay Quezon. Yesterday, another NPA encampment unit in Barangay Balagon, Silay, Zamboanga Sibugay was raided by troops of the 44th IB. The same AFP unit raided another NPA camp in Barangay Peñaranda, Kabasalan in the same province.