CAGAYAN DE ORO -- Maoist rebels vowed Thursday to launch much wider and bigger offensives with more armed fighters next year.
Jorge "Ka Oris" Madlos, the spokesperson of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) for Mindanao, said the New People's Army (NPA) will intensify its attacks especially in Southern Philippines.
The NPA is the armed wing of the NDFP and the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).
The Philippines has been tagged for holding the longest running revolutionary movement in the world.
Speaking before reporters during the CPP’s 45th founding anniversary on December 26, Madlos said they will deploy more NPA fighters in their punitive actions against the government forces in 2014.
Madlos said that in 2010, the revolutionary group initiated 250 armed operations, 350 attacks in 2011, and more than 400 offensives in 2012.
“This year, the revolutionary forces launched more than 400 offensives, and next year, we will launch more than 500 tactical offensives,” said Madlos.
If the recent assaults were initiated by platoons and squads of the NPA, Madlos said that next year, there will be battalion formations that will launch military operations all over Mindanao.
In the North Central Mindanao Region (NCMR), Norsen “Ka Norsen” Mangubat said amid the addition of the Marine Battalion Landing Team and Scout Ranger to the military forces of the Philippines’ 4th Infantry Division (4ID), the insurgents intensified their aggressive actions from 83 last year to 100 this year.
Mangubat claimed the CPP-NPA in NCMR this year eliminated 117 members of the government’s military forces, while the Maoists lost only 11 of their comrades.
“In those tactical operations, the group confiscated more than 80 weapons of different caliber,” said Mangubat.
Madlos added: “From 2011 to 2013, casualties sustained by enemy forces increased to at least a battalion per year while the casualties with the NPA per year did not go beyond a platoon on the same period.”
In NCMR, Mangubat said the forces of the guerilla group increased by 11 percent while the number of high-powered weapons increased by 10 percent.
“The People’s militia in the region also increased by 28 percent,” said Mangubat.
According to the CPP statement, in the five regions of Mindanao, there are 46 guerilla fronts composed of platoons and companies that constitute 10 battalions.
The battalion formations of CPP-NPA in Mindanao are supported by the People’s militia numbering several battalions.
Amid the military and psychological warfare (psy-war) operations conducted by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), the bases of the group increased and strengthened in more than 2,000 villages in more than 200 municipalities and 19 provinces in Mindanao.
In sum, the armed revolution in Mindanao guided by the CPP is supported by hundreds of thousands from various sectors of society, the CPP added.
Based on the CPP statement, part of their tactical offensives were the successful punitive actions on Del Monte Philippines plantation, the raid conducted on an army detachment in Barangay Lantad, Balingasag, Misamis Oriental.
Part of these actions was the confiscation of firearms of Dasia Security Agency in Tagum City and the raid on Philippine National Police headquarters in Kibawe town in Bukidnon and Don Victoriano, Misamis Occidental.
Meanwhile, Madlos, through a press statement, said the Aquino regime has no capacity to alleviate the misery felt by the survivors of Tropical Storm Sendong and typhoons Pablo and Yolanda because it is preoccupied in squandering the people’s money.
In a statement e-mailed to Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro on Friday, the Philippine Army’s 8th Infantry Battalion (8IB) said the NPA violated the truce between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the CPP.
The military troops under the Barangay Assistance Team for Peace and Development (BATPD) in Sitio Ulayanon, Barangay Kalabugao, Impasug-ong, Bukidnon were allegedly harassed by the members of the NPA using high-powered weapons.
The harassment happened on the same day the CPP commemorated its founding anniversary on December 26, said the army.
The aim of the BATPD, a team of soldiers who were deployed in the different villages in Impasug-ong, is to assist the local government unit in the delivery of basic services and in the implementation of government programs and projects in the area, the military unit added.
“One soldier, namely, Private First class Akmad Maruhom, was killed-in-action,” the 8IB statement said, stressing the attack was a violation of the CPP’s declaration of ceasefire.
“The actions of the NPAs in the area clearly violated this previously announced truce from their side. The incident was the second time that the rebels carried out to inflict casualty among our troops facilitating peace and development activities in the area. First was on November 28 this year when they also perpetrated the same harassment in the area resulting to one soldier wounded,” the unit said.
“It only shows that they (NPA) are deceptive of their pronouncements. In fact, they intend on sowing fear and violence in local communities. More so, they are anti-development and anti-poor,” it added.
The army unit also said that “the CPP-NPA wants the people to continue with their misery so that they can continue to deceive them. In the spirit of Christmas and our strong adherence to peace and development, we once again call on the CPP-NPA to once and for all denounce “armed struggle” and follow the path of peace.”
Captain Christian Uy, 4th Infantry Division (4ID) spokesman, said the division was dismayed “over the actions of the rebels” amid the temporary truce while the whole world is celebrating Christmas and New Year.
There were no reported casualties on the rebel side and the civilians, Uy added.
He said the military has been doing community works, especially in the hinterland villages, in a bid to discourage residents from joining the armed revolutionary movement. (With Loui S. Maliza/Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro/Sunnex)