AFP to communist rebels: End senseless attacks
MANILA, Philippines – Embrace peace, lay down your arms.
On the eve of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP)’s 46th anniversary, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) called on the rebels to “abandon the use of armed violence” and “embrace peace” to solve the country’s pressing problems.
“It has been proven that nobody is a real winner in bloody armed conflicts. We are witness to the endless misery experienced by our own people who are caught in the crossfire,” the AFP said in a statement released on Christmas Day, Thursday, December 25.
The military recounted the following “atrocities” carried out by the CPP’s New People’s Army (NPA) in 2014:
- When a land mine hit an ambulance in March, hurting members of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council;
- A December attack on an ambulance by suspected NPA members, which led to the death of 4 civilians and the injury of 7;
- The hostage-taking of civilians from the town of Mabini in Compostela Valley, allegedly by members of the NPA;
- And the injury of 3 civilians when the NPA launched an attack on a military detachment in Masbate
“The senseless attacks perpetrated by the NPA against peaceful communities and infrastructure projects have caused more suffering and denied the people of development in the countryside,” the AFP said.
“We can have the choice between a better life for ourselves and our children by embracing peace or continued violence and poverty through bloody armed conflict. The door for reconciliation and healing remains open to all our misguided brothers who want to embrace peace,” the military added.
Although their numbers have been dwindling, the NPA insists their bases have, on the contrary, been “rapidly expanding.”
In March 2014, the NPA suffered a huge blow when two of its top leaders, Benito and Wilma Tiamzon, were caught by Philippine authorities. The two are detained inside the Philippine National Police (PNP)’s Custodial Center in Camp Crame.
The CPP declared a ceasefire during the Christmas season, their anniversary, the New Year’s, and Pope Francis’ scheduled visit to the country. Ahead of the ceasefire, however, suspected members of the NPA allegedly torched construction equipment in Camarines Norte. – Bea Cupin/Rappler.com