Spokesperson, Efren Martires Command
NPA Eastern Visayas Regional Operations Command
The Efren Martires Command of the New People’s Army-Eastern Visayas (central Philippines) said today that guerrilla offensives in Western Samar are stepping up since June against the 8th Infantry Division’s Oplan Bayanihan implementation. “The successful NPA offensives counter the 8th ID’s search-and-destroy operations in the countryside under Oplan Bayanihan, which division commander Gen. Mario Chan disguise as ‘peace and development’ operations,” said Ka Karlos Manuel, EMC spokesperson.
“Oplan Bayanihan in Samar has strikingly meant intensified military presence riding on road projects funded mainly by the US. In fact, these infrastructure projects are indirect attacks on the people by being principally meant for facilitating the military’s search-and-destroy operations against the NPA, that often give rise to human rights violations. Moreover, such projects will not solve landlessness and poverty in the absence of comprehensive socio-economic reforms under the Aquino government.”
Manuel gave details on the following NPA tactical offensives in Western Samar:
06 June. Barangay (village). Diit, Matuguinao. Red fighters of the Serafin Pacimos Command harass a unit of the 87th Infantry Battalion, killing three soldiers and wounding one. The NPA had no casualties.
26 June. Barangay. Lawaan, Paranas. An NPA special operations unit punished Bolontoy Sosing, an important intelligence asset of the military. Smarting from their loss, the military today continues search-and-destroy operations in the area in the vain hope of retaliation.
13 July. Barangay Lagundi, Catbalogan. Red fighters raid the sub-provincial jail and disarm the four jail officers on duty. Confiscated were one 9-mm. pistol, a .38 revolver and a .38 pistol, along with ammunition, two laptop computers, uniforms, bags, and other equipment. The Red fighters did not indiscriminately fire as claimed by the police, but an accidental discharge hit one of the jail officers who had surrendered, for which the NPA apologizes.
20 July. Between Barangays Concepcion and Canligues, Paranas. Red fighters of the Arnulfo Ortiz Command ambush a military convoy heading for San Jose de Buan. One soldier was confirmed killed and many others wounded. There were no casualties on the side of the NPA.
Confiscated were one K3 machine gun, two M16 rifles, three .45 pistols, and ammunition: 400 K3 rounds; 1,950 M16 rounds; 526 M14 rounds, and one box of mortar rounds. Also seized were ammunition belts and magazines, military uniforms and bags, documents of high intelligence value, and other equipment. The NPA used command-detonated explosives, not landmines as alleged by Lt. Col. Niceforo Diaz, Jr., chief of the Civil-Military Operations Battalion, in falsely accusing the NPA of violating the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law.
The weapons and ammunition confiscated from these Philippine Army soldiers also show them to be ready for battle, rather than for a “peace and development” mission with their infrastructure projects in San Jose de Buan and nearby towns.
Spokesperson, Regional Operations Command
NPA Eastern Visayas (Efren Martires Command)