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NPA ambushes Philippine Army, PNP troops in North Cotabato

Spokesperson, Mt. Apo Subregional Command
NPA Southern Mindanao

The New People’s Army aimed at trouncing the 57th Infantry Battalion troops and Philippine National Police personnel during an ambush on 27 February at 3:00 pm in Barangay (village) Datu Inda, President Roxas town, North Cotabato. The tactical offensive did not target Pres. Roxas Mayor Jaime Mahimpit who was with the armed convoy. When the mayor’s gray Pajero car passed through the road, NPA operatives switched on the command-detonated explosives against 14 policemen in motorcycles and the military aboard a 6×6 truck who were closely following the mayor. The ambush wounded SPO4 Hector Castillo, who was the mayor’s escort leader, PO3 Joemer Ilagan, and PO2 Joselax Avena.

Thursday’s tactical offensive was meant to deter the 57th Infantry Battalion (Armed Forces of the Philippines) which has intensified its triad military operations in Roxas, Magpet, and Arakan towns following its turnover of Makilala and Tulunan towns to the 39th Infantry Battalion early this year. The PNP and army elements were legitimate targets, contrary to reports that Mayor Mahimpit was the object of the punitive action linked to revolutionary tax collection.

Brutal to the core but coward and desperate, the fascist troops attempt to avoid NPA ambuscades by taking cover under the mantle of civilian bureaucracy. The AFP engages Red fighters through fascist and manipulative means, by abusing the masses to deter them from participating in legitimate struggles, and by using local civilian officials for its forward deployment operations. When the AFP’s combat troops and the PNP enter guerilla bases and zones of the NPA, they pretend to be local escorts to civilian officials when their real mission is to do battle and suppress the people.

Hence, the NPA calls on local GPH (Government of the Republic of the Philippines) authorities and functionaries to cease from directly participating in the military’s offensive operations. If they do not commit serious crimes against the people and are not engaged in armed and counter-revolutionary violence, GPH authorities like Mayor Mahimpit are safe from the NPA’s punitive actions. They should focus, instead, on dispensing their civilian duties and shun military operations, intelligence activities, and hostile armed acts. They must prevail over the AFP which maintains a policy of pressuring GPH civilian officials for its civilian-military operations in the countryside.

(sgd.) Ka Isabel Fermiza
Spokesperson, NPA Mt. Apo Subregional Command

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