INTERIOR and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año on Thursday, December 5, downplayed the threat from communist terrorist group New People's Army (NPA).
“I will not be intimidated by such an evil plot. We are prepared for that. We will get them before they can execute their plan. We’ll keep this country safe against these Godless communist terrorists/bandits,” Año said.
”There is no need because my security measures are enough. Like a soldier, I am always prepared to fight!” he added.
Año made the statement after Major General Antonio Parlade, Jr., Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) deputy chief-of-staff for civil-military operations, revealed that Año and other high-ranking government officials were on the kill list of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and NPA, its armed wing.
Also on the list are National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr., National Commission on Indigenous Peoples chairman Allen Capuyan and five former communist leaders who are helping the government’s anti-insurgency campaign.
Philippine National Police (PNP) spokesperson Brigadier General Bernard Banac assured that the PNP continues to be vigilant and alert against the communist rebels.
“Hindi naman bago ang mga ganitong banta sa seguridad ng ating mga matataas na pinuno lalo na at paparating na naman ang founding anniversary ng CPP subalit palagi tayong nananatiling alerto at mapagmatyag sa anumang maaaring criminal activities na gagawin ng kanilang mga kasapi at wala naman tayong dapat ikabahala dahil ang lahat ng mga tumatayo sa batas ay nasa panig ng batas at ang lahat ng lalabag dito ay mapapanagot din natin sa batas,” he said.
(Such threats to the security of our high-ranking officials are not new, especially as the CPP's founding anniversary approaches. We will remain alert and vigilant. There is nothing to worry about.)
Banac also said law enforcement operations against CPP-NPA leaders and members with standing warrants of arrest will continue.
The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. (SunStar Philippines)