By ZEA IO MING C. CAPISTRANO
DAVAO CITY – The New People’s Army in Bukidnon launched five military actions in three days, offensives which, they say, are meant to support the Moro people.
The NPA said their recent offensives “paralyzed seven hauler trucks, killed five reactionary armed troops while wounding many others.”
“This is in response to the call of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Philippines to extend support to the Moro people who are now being victimized by the Philippine Armed Forces’ vicious all-out war,” said NPA spokesperson Allan Juanito in a statement.
On March 8, around 5:00 a.m., Juanito said an NPA platoon stopped seven hauler trucks along the national highway in Brgy. Palacapao, Quezon, Bukidnon. “These were carrying products of multinational companies like Nestlé, and those of big comprador-owned enterprises such as Lucio Tan’s Asia Brewery and Danding Cojuangco’s Purefoods, all infamous for their anti-labor and anti-people operations,” Juanito said.
An NPA team harassed the soldiers and CAFGUs in the 84th IB detachment in Sitio Kipulot, Brgy. Palacapao, who were just about to respond to the said attack. “Enemy casualties have not been accounted but they were not able to leave their camp afterwards,” Juanito said.
Around 7:00 am on the same day, the NPA employed a command-detonated explosive (CDeX) against a vehicle carrying responding troops of the 103rd Regional Public Safety Battalion in Brgy. Palacapao. One policeman was killed while seven others were wounded.
Col Jess Alvarez, Commander of the 403rd Brigade based in Malaybalay, Bukidnon, reported that a 30-minute fire fight ensued after the pursuing troops were fired upon by the NPAs.
“They were on their way to verify the report on the presence of an armed group in the area when they were fired upon,” Alvarez said.
Eastern Mindanao Command (Eastmincom) spokesperson Col. Romeo Brawner said the encounter resulted to the recovery of two M16 rifle, one AK 47, radio, various ammunition and the killing of an NPA member.
On March 10, around 2:00 am, an NPA guerrilla platoon engaged in a three-hour skirmish the troops of the 84th IB operating in Upper Minalong, Brgy. Kahusayan, Kitaotao, Bukidnon. Two soldiers were killed and an undetermined number were wounded, Juanito said.
“Two Red fighters heroically gave their lives and three of our rifles were seized,” he said.
At around 6:00 in the morning, a team of NPA detonated the CDeX towards enemy operating troops in Log Deck 6, Brgy. Linabo, Quezon. Two were reported killed and an undetermined number of soldiers were wounded.
“All five offensive actions were jointly launched by Front 6 of the NPA-North Central Mindanao Region and Front 53 of Southern Mindanao Region,” Juanito said.
Meanwhile, on the evening of March 14, military troops from the 2nd Scout Ranger Battalion also figured in a firefight with the NPAs in Los Arcos, Prosperidad, Agusan Del Sur.
In a statement last Sunday, Lt General Aurelio Baladad, commander of Eastmincom, said the military convoy is composed of two KM250 and three KM450 trucks who were on their way to respond to a reported presence of NPAs “when they were landmined and ambushed by undetermined number of NPAs.”
The incident resulted to the killing of three soldiers and the wounding of five others whose identities are being withheld pending the notification of their families.
The armed forces were able to recover an undetonated landmine after a 30-minute exchange of fire with the NPAs.
In a separate incident, policemen of Cortes Municipal Police Station, Surigao del Sur on board a patrol car escaped an ambush staged by the NPA along Brgy. Tigao.
The ambush resulted to the wounding of one policeman identified as PO1 Boado.
Juanito said the NPA offensives are part of the “conscious effort to extend support and sympathy to the Moro people who are being victimized by the AFP’s all-out war against the BIFF (Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters), now running more than three weeks.”
As of Thursday (March 12), reports from local government of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao said a total of 93,402 persons or 19, 075 families have evacuated from 12 towns in Maguindanao as the offensive of the armed forces against the Moro fighters continue.
“We encourage the oppressed and exploited Moro people to persevere in their struggle for the right to self-determination and against the fascist government under the reins of US imperialism and local ruling classes. We must both launch armed resistance for the realization of our goals, national liberation and democracy,” Juanito said.
Juanito said they are reminding the contractors of hauler trucks to refrain from forging contracts with foreign companies who are “targets of the revolution.”
“We call upon Filipino entrepreneurs to treat their workers fairly by giving them fair wages, good working conditions, benefits and a guarantee to their right to union. We hope they will not lay the blame on the ordinary truck workers and lay them off as punishment for the incident,” he said. Reposted by