NPA ambushes police Regional Mobile Group in Eastern Samar

By CPP Information Bureau

NPA ambush in Eastern Samar serves to punish the AFP-PNP joint operations plan

The Efren Martires Command of the New People's Army-Eastern Visayas today said that the successful NPA ambush in Brgy. Catumsan, Arteche, Eastern Samar last 26 February was meant to punish the newfangled joint operations plan of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police (AFP-PNP).

"The EMC commends the Sergio Lobina Command for ambushing the PNP-Regional Mobile Group security convoy of Arteche Mayor Roland Evardone," said Ka Karlos Manuel, EMC spokesperson. "According to initial reports, the NPA confiscated at least three M16 rifles and one M14 rifle. The PNP-RMG team leader, Insp. Al Tandiado, was killed, while PO1s Elmer Tesado, Kenneth Tafalla and Sherwin Furtgada were wounded. There were no casualties on the NPA side."

Manuel also scoffed at the 8th Infantry Division and the Police Regional Office-8 for condemning the ambush.

"The PNP-RMG elements were legitimate targets as government combatants. Moreover, this assertion by the NPA is reinforced by the 25 January regional memorandum of agreement on a joint implementation plan between the 8th ID and the PNP. Such a MOA blurs the distinction between the ostensibly different functions of the military and the police. We also believe the MOA to be part of the thrust to strengthen the coercive powers of the state for political repression, as directed by the US Counter-insurgency Guide.

The US COIN Guide is the basis for the AFP's new Oplan Bayanihan, which pretends to prettify "counter-insurgency", such as paying lip service to human rights, while in reality intensifying military and psywar operations and thus escalating human rights abuses."

Manuel also apologized and promised to investigate the wounding of a civilian during the ambush.

"The NPA was unaware of any civilian near the ambush site, or whether that the PNP-RMG had allowed a civilian to mingle with the security convoy despite the potential danger. If any such incident occurs, the details are usually looked into in the post-operation assessment of any tactical offensive.

The NPA is the army of the people, it is open to any criticism by the people, and it is ready to self-criticize and rectify any mistake it may have made. At the same time, we call on the AFP-PNP not to turn human rights into a zarzuela but to bring the criminals in its ranks to account, such as the killers of Leonard Co and his companions.

The NPA is with the people in fighting the climate of impunity. While intensifying our tactical offensives and advancing warfare to a new and higher level, we abide by human rights and international humanitarian law and call on the AFP-PNP to do the same in the interests of the people."

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