Army, police in Negros brace for rebel attacks

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Tuesday, March 25, 2014


THE Philippine Army and the Philippine National Police in Negros Occidental are on red alert status for the possible violent reaction of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army (CPP-NPA) to the arrest of their two leaders in Cebu Saturday.

Arrested were CPP chairman General Benito Tiamzon and his wife Wilma Austria, the party’s secretary-general.

Colonel Jon Aying, commander of the 303rd Brigade of the Philippine Army based in Murcia town, said on Monday they have alerted their personnel against the possible attacks of the communist rebels as part of the NPA’s anniversary on March 29.

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He also confirmed some movements of the rebels in southern and northern Negros.

"We are on heightened alert level and we caution our personnel to take extra precautions," Aying said.

Senior Superintendent Milko Lirazan, acting director of the Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office, said that even before the arrest of the Tiamzon couple, they have already alerted all police and public safety units all over the province for possible NPA atrocities after the series of attacks they launched in Mindanao.

The Tiamzon couple, together with five other members of the CPP-NPA, was arrested for multiple murder and attempted murder.

The National Democratic Front (NDF), the political wing of the CPP-NPA, questioned the arrest because of the Joint Agreement of Safety and Immunity Guarantee (Jasig) relative to the peace talks between the government and the NDF.

Militant group Bayan-Negros also questioned the government's sincerity and seriousness in talking peace with the rebels after the arrest of the Tiamzons.

The arrest is illegal, said Bayan-Negros secretary-general Christian Tuayon. (TDE)

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on March 25, 2014.

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