Lorenzana wants public to protect villages vs NPA terrorists
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Wednesday urged the public to be vigilant in protecting communities from the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army which has earned a terrorist tag from the government.
Lorenzana said NPA terrorists were capable of conducting treacherous acts that could undermine the security of a community.
On Tuesday, President Rodrigo Duterte proclaimed the CPP-NPA-NDF as a terrorist organization. He said the declaration was in accordance with the Human Security Act and international law.
The proclamation came two weeks after the Philippine government terminated the peace talks with the CPP-NPA because of the group’s series of violent attacks against the people.
“We enjoin the Filipino people to work closely with the military, police and local officials to safeguard our communities from the violence, treachery, and opportunism that the CPP-NPA are known for,” the defense chief said.
“We have long since maintained that the CPP-NPA is a blight to the Filipino people, with its members engaging in constant criminal activities and wanton acts of terror,” he added.
The CPP-NPA was first designated by the US State Department as a terrorist organization on August 9, 2002. The department described the NPA, the CPP’s armed wing, as a Maoist group formed in 1969 with the aim of overthrowing the government through protracted guerrilla warfare.
It added that the CPP-NPA has a history of attacking US interests in the Philippines.
In 1987, the CPP-NPA killed three American soldiers in four separate attacks in Angeles City.
In 1989, the CPP-NPA issued a press statement taking credit for the ambush and murder of Col. James Nicholas Rowe, chief of the Ground Forces Division of the Joint U.S.-Military Advisory Group.
Before the termination of the peace talks by Duterte, the CPP’s founding chairman, Jose Maria Sison, had pushed for the delisting of the group from the list of international terrorist groups.
The delisting was one of the recommendations agreed upon by the government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) during the peace negotiations in January.#