NPAs joined anti-Duterte protests in SONA but unable to cause trouble: military source
A military source said Thursday New People's Army (NPA) members joined the protests during the third State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Rodrigo Duterte last Monday.
"That is 'normal' for the NPA's. Every SONA or activities where there are mass rallies participated by the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) legal fronts, the NPAs from Southern Tagalog and parts of northern Luzon will infiltrate or join the rallies," the source said.
"They act as provocateurs or instigators of violence to taunt the police to use force against the rally participants, to gather intel and undertake sabotage operations when opportunity for such is warranted," the source added.
The military source did not say how many NPA members joined the rally but the source noted that the NPAs were not able to provoke violence as the Philippine National Police successfully handled the situation.
"They (PNP) created a clear distance between the pros and anti-government groups. They allowed the conduct of protests at specific or designated areas, and extensively engaged the leaders of both groups to control and police their ranks in order to ensure order and civility in their protest,"the source noted.
"Also the maximum tolerance policy and the show of overwhelming force contributed in deterring the infiltrators from starting any violent actions," the source added.
It can be recalled that the PNP recorded around 23,000 protesters during the third SONA of Duterte last Monday.
These include the around 8,000 supporters of the president and around 15,000 members of the anti-Duterte group.
The PNP declared the third SONA of Duterte was peaceful. Robina Asido/DMS