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3月30日のまにら新聞から

Soldier, NPA rebel killed in Rizal clash

[ 519 words|2020.3.30|英字 ]

The military has accused the New People’s Army (NPA), armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), of violating the ongoing ceasefire for attacking a barangay in Rizal province, resulting to two casualties.

The attack transpired in Barangay Puray in Rodriguez town around 3pm on Saturday while the government forces were conducting community defense patrol in the area.

In a statement on Sunday, Armed Forces of the Philippines chief of staff General Felimon Santos Jr. said the NPA has made it clear that “they will not honor their ceasefire declaration” after its recent attack.

“We were able to repel the attack, which turns out to be the NPA's futile attempt to project relevance and power, among the many delusions of (CPP founder) Jose Maria Sison. They were planning to celebrate their anniversary on March 29 with a bang,” Santos said.

“This attack on our people throws away their so-called 'humanitarian principles' and exposes the exploitative nature of their ceasefire declaration,” he added.

Santos said their troops who have been on proactive defense nationwide are ready and are expecting such treachery.

“Let this be a warning to them that while we fulfill our duties to contain the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019), we will not back down to any attempt to disrupt the peace in our communities,” he said.

In a statement on Saturday, Major General Arnulfo Marcelo Burgos Jr., Army's 2nd Infantry Division commander, condemned "in the strongest sense the NPAs’ offensive actions that resulted to an encounter at Barangay Puray, Rodriguez, Rizal on March 28 which is a violation of their own ceasefire declaration on March 26."

The troops encountered around 30 armed rebels and the firefight lasted for 40 minutes.

The clash resulted to the death of one soldier and one NPA rebel while two soldiers were also injured and were immediately brought to the hospital for medication.

The authorities were able to recover M16 rifle, hand grenade, rifle grenade and jungle pack.

Burgos thanked the residents for alerting them about the presence of the Maoist rebels in the area.

“We would like to express our gratitude to the people of Barangay Puray for alerting our Community Support Program (CSP) team about the presence and terroristic plans of the NPAs. If not for them, our soldiers would have failed to defend themselves as well as the community and the people whom we have sworn to protect,” he said.

Despite the attack, he said the military is committed to secure the safety of the Filipinos and preventing the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

“We will remain steadfast in performing our mandate to serve our people and secure this part of our land while committing ourselves to the urgent task of containing the spread of COVID-19. We will adhere to the provisions of the unilateral ceasefire without prejudice to the safety and security of the people in our communities,” Burgos said.

Last March 19, President Rodrigo Duterte declared a unilateral ceasefire with CPP-NPA which will last until April 15. The Maoist group also declared its own truce while the world is facing the COVID-19 pandemic. Ella Dionisio/DMS