NPA units welcome the year with series of tactical offensives, ambush operations against AFP in Rizal, Masbate and Negros

Despite repeated promises of the Marcos regime to “end the armed conflict” in the Philippines, the New People’s Army (NPA) continues to advance the people’s war by launching consecutive tactical offensives, ambush operations and punitive actions against elements of the fascist Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and their agents in Rizal, Masbate, and Negros in the first few months of 2024.

On January 31, a unit of NPA-Rizal Narciso Antazo Aramil Command successfully launched an ambush operation against soldiers of the 80th Infantry Battalion (IB) operating in Lukutang Malaki, Barangay San Isidro, Rodriguez, Rizal. Three were confirmed dead among the ranks of the fascist troops. The NPA unit retreated safely and was unharmed.

According to reports, the 80th IB’s intense and relentless focused military operations in Rodriguez have been going on for nearly a year. Apart from serving as guards of the Wawa-Tayabasan Dam being built, troops of the 80th IB also protects the interests of the ruling big landlords such as the Aranetas, Villars and Robles, in Lukutang Malaki. The rampant militarization brought fear to locals in the area due to multiple cases of harassment, surveillance, food blockades, population control, and other human rights violations perpetrated by the 80th IB.

On January 13, a unit of the NPA-Masbate Jose Rapsing Command hit the 96th IB troopers operating in Sitio Lantawan, Barangay Gangao, Baleno, Masbate. The said military unit immediately hid their casualties to cover up their losses.

According to Ka Luz del Mar, NPA-Masbate spokesperson, the armed offensive is part of their efforts to seek justice for the victims of military abuses in the area and defend the people against ongoing military operations in the province. Among those referred to by Ka Luz include the 24 victims of political killings in Masbate under the US-Marcos regime. Residents are also indignant at the persistent encampment of “counterinsurgency” units of the AFP and the Philippine National Police (PNP) in schools in the province – an outright violation of international rules of war. According to reports, prostitution also became rampant in the areas where military camps were being built.

Meanwhile, NPA-Northern Negros Roselyn Jean Pelle Command launched consecutive punitive actions against perpetrators of the Sagay 9 Massacre and other enemies of the people in separate operations last January 2 and February 13. A .22 rifle and 44 rounds of ammunition, a .357 pistol plus bullets, two smartphones and various IDs were recovered by guerilla fighters after the action.

On January 9, 2024, the NPA-Negros Oriental Leondardo Panaligan Command similarly mounted a punitive action against a notorious intelligence asset of the local police in Sityo Mainit, Barangay Bulado, Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental.#