A MILITARY official warned militant groups on Wednesday, December 6, against providing any kind of support to the New People’s Army (NPA), or they will face criminal charges.
"Mayroon po tayong impormasyon na natatanggap hinggil sa mga tulong na kanilang inihahatid (sa NPA). Kung ang sinumang grupo ay mapatutunayan na sila ay nagkakanlong o sila ay nagbibigay ng ayuda o tulong sa mga teroristang grupo then puwede na po silang makasuhan," said AFP chief of the Public Affairs Office (PAO) Edgard Arevalo.
(We have received information that they are extending help to the NPA. Any group proven to have been coddling or giving assistance to the terror group will be charged.)
Arevalo said among the militant groups that have been allegedly providing logistical support to the NPA are the Bayan, Akbayan and Bayan Muna. He said they were still validating the report.
On Tuesday, President Rodrigo Duterte signed a proclamation classifying the NPA and the Communist Party of the Philippines as terrorist organizations. The proclamation exempted the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), political arm of the CPP.
It came after Duterte ordered the cancellation of all the scheduled meetings with the NDFP because of the continued attacks by the NPA on government forces.
AFP chief of staff Rey Guerrero thereafter ordered the intensified military operations against the NPA terrorists.
AFP spokesperson Restituto Padilla said that with the declaration of the President, they can now implement and perform their duties against terrorism without reservations or restrictions.
“Having said that, the AFP’s Focused Military Operations will now become even more precise, simple and effective. We can now address without any hesitation and with all the means and resources available to us the increasing criminal and economic sabotage activities of these terrorists,” he said.
For his part, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said joint military and police operations against the NPA terrorists will continue even during the holiday season.
He said he will not recommend the suspension of military operations (SOMO), which is an annual tradition to give way to the Christmas holidays.
“Kung mag-SOMO (suspension of military operations) kami and we will stand down, they will attack us again,” Lorenzana said. (SunStar Philippines)