Police officer held as NPA prisoner; NPA offensive vs. 16th IB in Paquibato

New People’s Army
Regional Operations Command
Southern Mindanao Region
Press Statement | June 12, 2017

The New People’s Army units in Southern Mindanao continue to firm up its battle positions while defending the rights of the people in the territories of the People’s Democratic Government. The NPA is even more constrained to do so in the face of GRP Pres. Rodrigo Duterte’s adamant dictatorial bluster and the rising fascism of his regime amid the Martial Law imposition and suspension of the writ of habeas corpus in Mindanao.

On June 9 at 4:30pm, the 6th Pulang Bagani Company and the Guerrilla Front 18 of the NPA Subregional Operations Command took as Prisoner of War SPO2 George Canete Rupinta, 52, Badge Number: 080699, in Brgy. Tagugpo, Lupon, Davao Oriental. Seized from his possession was a 9mm handgun. While giving lenient treatment as POW, the NPA’s custodial force has placed Rupinta under investigation for the anti-people activities of his police unit in Lupon.

In contrast to the AFP which has escalated its atrocious anti-people operations and all-out war in both urban centers and the countryside, the NPA carries out peace and order campaigns in its areas of jurisdiction against fascist forces, local tyrants and legitimate military targets. While AFP forces ravage Marawi City in the guise of neutralizing the Maute Group, it carries out warrantless arrests against innocent Moro civilians, indiscriminate aerial bombardments, destruction of homes and livelihood and dislocation of hundreds of thousands of residents. In contrast, the NPA imposes special operations against legitimate military targets like Rupinta while remaining obedient to the protocols of war and/or international humanitarian law.

The NPA has also continued waging battle against the enemy. On June 11, the NPA’s 1st Pulang Bagani Battalion engaged the forces of the 16th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army in Brgy. Paradise Embac. Reports reaching the NPA Southern Mindanao Regional Operations Command said nine soldiers were killed while six others were wounded in Sunday’s encounter.

The AFP had the temerity to say that they were responding to the reported atrocities in the area when they engaged the NPA yesterday in Paquibato, a shameless propaganda blitz to cover up the fascist acts perpetuated by members of the Joint Task Force Haribon, especially in the last 19 days of Martial Law.

Initial reports from the field also showed that two civilians were wounded after the military strafed a house in Paradise Embac yesterday. One of the civilians was still in critical condition. The same Army battalion in Paquibato had also been responsible of mauling, ransacking of houses and other abuses.

The NPA anticipates being even more hectic in defending the rights of the masses as more flagrant abuses are expected to be committed by the AFP under Duterte’s Martial Law. Last week, proposals have been made by the Davao City councilors to increase the number of Army battalions and the training and deployment of Special Civilian Armed Forces Auxilliary Units in Davao City. It is outrageous for the civilian bourgeois government to practically give its reins to the military authority and surrender civilian supremacy in the name of the AFP’s all-out war. The city council’s move warrants a thorough condemnation by all peace-loving citizens in the city.

Indeed, the weight of asserting the human rights and peace now rests more heavily on the hands of the struggling people and the revolutionary forces. There is the relentless effort of the Duterte regime—its officials and apologists–to deodorize the evils of Martial Law rule and make it a norm. Today’s independence day celebration by the reactionary state reminds and gives stern warning to sift the true from the false and learn from the lessons of history. The Marcos regime was the best recruiter for the NPA.

Rigoberto F. Sanchez