By RIGOBERTO SANCHEZ
Spokesperson, NPA Merardo Arce Command
NPA Southern Mindanao Regional Operations Command
The 10th Infantry Division-Eastern Mindanao Command of the Armed Forces of the Philippines has concealed the rising number of casualties of its troops in the field, as they intensify psychological warfare and combat operations in Davao hinterlands. Raging against the civilians who have boldly exposed human rights abuses in the villages of Paquibato and Talaingod, Davao del Norte, the 10th Infantry Division has taken to downplaying, if not hiding, the incidents to stir terror in the minds and hearts and civilians. But no amount of cover-up can stifle the growing armed struggle and increasing unity between the New People’s Army and the masses, as shown in the following incidents:
- 26 April, at 3:00pm, a unit of the people’s militia discharged a command-detonated explosive at Km. 3, Barangay (village) Fatima, Paquibato district, Davao City, hitting the KM40 vehicle of the 69th Infantry Battalion-Philippine Army; two soldiers were wounded.
- 27 April, at 7:00am, combined forces of people’s militia and the New People’s Army ambushed a platoon of the 84th Infantry Battalion in sitio (sub-village) Sled, Barangay (village) Dalagdag, some 150 meters away from the Army’s patrol base. Five were killed and eight were wounded.
- 30 April, at 7:00am, the NPA ambushed elements of the 84th Infantry Battalion in sitio Sled, Barangay Dalagdag. Three were killed and six others injured.
- 01 May, at 8:00am, the NPA sprung upon a platoon of the 69th Infantry Battalion in sitio Bintuin, Barangay Fatima; said Army unit attempted to raid the NPA team, but was foiled by the NPA in a 20-minute firefight. Two soldiers were killed and four were injured. Later at 3:00pm, in Barangay Fatima again, another soldier from 69th Infantry Battalion was wounded in a firefight.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines is relentless in waging war against civilians by its continued hamletting in Paquibato, and interfering in the civilian bureaucracy in order to control the populace. These repressive acts further inflame the masses to struggle against fascism and turn to the people’s army for protection. As the abusive military operations continue to plague the masses, the NPA is determined to hit Army units, staging surreptitious attacks in greater latitude as possible, while the masses participate and become truly part of the people’s war.