Philippine Army assails NPA for Christmas attacks

THE PHILIPPINE Army’s 10th Infantry Division has denounced the New People’s Army (NPA) for violating the ceasefire when they conducted two attacks in Davao region on Christmas Day.

Maj. Gen. Noel Clement, the 10th ID commander, said the NPA’s attacks were “absolutely clear violation of the ceasefire.”

“NPAs’ Christmas celebration is usually accompanied by armed attacks against the people that reflect their true color as a criminal organization void of any ideology,” Clement said.

He said the attacks reflected that NPA was indeed a terrorist organization.

Capt. Jerry Lamosao, the 10th ID spokesperson, said the NPA staged two attacks – the first was in the morning and the second was in the evening – on Christmas Day.

The first incident happened at around 9:30 am when around 30 fully armed rebels chased and attempted to capture CAA Arbilito Catampao in Barangay Tubaon, Tarragona, Davao Oriental. Catampao was able to flee.

The rebels were under Ka Jekol, commanding officer of the Pulang Bagani command (PBC) 8, and Ka Ramie, commanding officer of the Section Committee (SeCom) 15, Southern Mindanao Regional Committee (SMRC).

At 7:30 pm that day, the Melale Patrol Base of the 1st Platoon of the 4th CAAC under 72IB was attacked by undetermined numbers of NPAs believed to be members of Guerilla Front (GF) 34, SMRC in Barangay Melale, Laak, Compostela Valley.

Lamosao said the government troopers were able to return fire.

After a two-minute exchange of fire, the rebels withdrew towards the northwest direction.

No casualty on the government side. Lamosao believed there were some casualties on the rebel side.

Lamosao said the attack did not prosper since the 10ID was on full alert against possible terrorist attacks.

President Rodrigo Duterte declared unilateral ceasefire that took effect on 6 pm of Dec. 23 until 6 pm of Dec. 26 and will resume on 6 pm of Dec. 30 until 6 pm of Jan. 2, 2018.

As a response, communist chair Jose Maria Sison issued a statement directing his armed wing to reciprocate the order, even during the founding anniversary of the Communist Party of the Philippines on Dec. 26.

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