Sunday, December 06, 2009

NPA rebels kill 7 soldiers in Mindanao clash

DAVAO CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / December 6, 2009) – Communist rebels on Sunday owned up the killing of seven government soldiers in fierce clashes in the southern Philippines.

A rebel spokesman Roel Agustin II said New People’s Army forces killed the soldiers in a Thursday clash in Compostela Valley’s Monkayo town. Rebels also took away three automatic weapons from the soldiers belonging to the Army’s 25th Infantry Battalion.

“This tactical offensive is a big slap on the Armed Forces of the Philippines and is part of the NPA’s series of decisively defeating the counter-revolutionary campaign of the US-Arroyo regime, the Oplan Bantay Laya II,” Agustin said.

Oplan Bantay Laya is the codename of the government’s anti-insurgency operations in the country, where NPA rebels are fighting the past decades for the establishment of a Maoist state.

Lieutenant Colonel Gilbert Saret, commander of the 25th infantry Battalion, said the rebels used landmine in attacking his soldiers.

“This is a clear manifestation of the kind of lawless group that they are. The so called rightist group like KARAPATAN should also focus their attention on this matter to be able to live up with their advocacy,” he said.

“The soldiers fought gallantly despite the effects of landmine. However, they all expired ultimately due to multiple wounds. This is the true essence of why soldiers can do such acts even beyond hope of winning or surviving. It is because each soldier is a brother, someone’s husband, someone’s son or some kids’ father. They can’t stand in front of this people and say, they lived while the others died,” he said.

A regional army commander, Major General Carlos Holganza, has vowed to end communist insurgency. But the rebel spokesman said they will continue offensives in Mindanao.

“In the face of this new defeat by the AFP in the region, Major General Holganza looks funny as he desperately continues to wish of victory while his troops are wallowing in defeat in the series of head and body blows from the NPA,” Agustin said.

”The Red fighters are now in the advantage position to launch annihilative and attritive tactical offensives; and it is impossible for the reactionary government to deceive the people that it can defeat or even stop the advance of the People’s War launched by the Communist Party of the Philippines, the NPA and the toiling masses.”

Peace talks between the government and rebels collapsed in 2004 after both sides failed to sign an agreement that would end more than four decades of communist insurgency in the Philippines. (Mindanao Examiner)

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