Monday, October 27, 2008

NPA owns up ambush of troops in Mindanao

DAVAO CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Oct. 27, 2008) – Philippine Maoist rebels on Monday claimed responsibility for the killing of eight government soldiers in Mindanao and vowed to launch more attacks in the troubled southern region.

Rigoberto Sanchez, a spokesman for the New People’s Army, said rebel forces killed the soldiers in two days of separate attacks in New Bataan and Monkayo towns in Compostela Valley province.

Philippine military officials said rebels killed soldiers who were on a humanitarian mission in the town of New Bataan, a charge strongly denied by the NPA. They said only six soldiers were killed and two others wounded in the attacks.

“While the Merardo Arce Command commends the NPA guerrillas, it also condemns the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ attempt to hide its battlefield blunder in its claim that their troops were on their so-called humanitarian and medical mission,” Sanchez said in a statement.

He said the ambushed soldiers were on a military operation and part of a bigger group deployed to track down NPA rebels in the province, a known rebel stronghold in Mindanao.

”Worse, aside from the deceptive humanitarian cover, the implacable fascist troops immediately and indiscriminately bombed the civilian-populated hinterlands in New Bataan. The fascist enemy, suffering from low morale, disregards war protocols, in blatant display of brutality and vengeance,” Sanchez said.

Sanchez said rebel forces will continue to strike on security forces in Mindanao as part of its offensive against the Arroyo government.

“Indeed, foot soldiers and officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police face real danger anywhere and every time, especially within the guerrilla territories of the revolutionary movement.”

“The cumulative effect of such guerrilla actions and the people's wrath against the hated Arroyo regime and the Armed Forces’ unwarranted and arbitrary reprisals spells doom for the US-Arroyo's costly delusions to finish off the revolutionary movement by 2010,” he said.

President Gloria Arroyo ordered the military to finish off the rebels, who are fighting for the establishment of a Maoist state in the country, before her term ends in 2010.

The NPA is the armed wing of the outlawed Communist Party of the Philippines, which broke off peace talk with the Arroyo government in 2004 after accusing Manila of reneging on its commitments to free all political prisoners and to put a stop to political killings, among others.

The United States and the European Union listed the Communist Party of the Philippines and the NPA, including its political arm, the National Democratic Front, as foreign terrorist organizations on Manila's prodding. The US is currently aiding the Philippine military in defeating communist insurgency by providing local troops with vital intelligence about the rebels. (Mindanao Examiner)

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