PNP says NPA's special unit is ''desperate move'' to show they are still strong
Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Oscar Albayalde on Monday said the communist rebel's Special Partisan Unit-Special Operations Goup (SPU-SOG) is a "desperate move" to prove to their people they are still ''a force to be reckoned with''.
"Probably, it's one (of the reason). They are trying to show they are still a force to be reckoned with since many from them surrendered because of what we call localized peace talks," Albayalde said in a press conference in Camp Crame.
Last Sunday, two New People's Army members and 18 Milisyang Bayan (national militia) in Brgy Pandol, Can-avid, Eastern Samar surrendered to the 14th Infantry Battalion.
Albayalde said the hit squad of the Communist Party of the Philippines and New People's Army is responsible for 136 confirmed kills over the last three years.
"There is strong possibility that it will stage more hits depending on how the communist movement would want to utilize the SPU-SOG’s specialized capability for small unit missions against vulnerable targets," he said.
He said these hit squads are popularly referred to as sparrows and based in the "red areas" or rural areas.
Albayalde added some misled guerrilla fronts under maverick and enterprising commanders may offer the services of the SPU-SOG for political assassinations as the 2019 elections near.
Albayalde said incidents involving this hit squad prompted the President (Rodrigo Duterte) to create his own special unit.
"Probably this is what he referring, that we would create a special unit to address specifically this problem," he said.
Armed Forces of the Philippines chief of staff General Carlito Galvez Jr. said CPP-NPA's sparrow unit is very active in Bicol, Negros, Samar region as well as in eastern and western Mindanao.
"There is really a need to counter this and to counter this ( we need) to make our personnel vigilant and we need to counter this with the organization of counter sparrow force with the intelligence and our special units," Galvez said.
According to PNP the latest monitored SPU-SOG hits were an ambush to two Army soldiers at the Las Navas public market in Northern Samar last Nov 27; the shooting of Navy SeniorChief Petty Officer Jesus Zaavedra in Pio Duran, Albay and the botched assassination try in Catbalogan City of ex-Mayor Aran Boller of Matuginao, Samar. Ella Dionisio/DMS