Duterte warns troops of NPA attacks in storm-hit areas

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte on Monday, December 18, warned the police and military of possible attacks by the New People Army's (NPA) in areas hit by Tropical Storm Urduja.

In a situational briefing held in Biliran, Duterte said members of the NPA are "taking advantage" of the situation, as the government responds to the needs of the victims.

He directed state forces anew to shoot communist rebels who are carrying guns.

"I'd like to address myself now to the police and the military. Leyte and Samar (are) the hotbed of insurgency. They are quiet (but) very active, especially here in Samar. Ambuscades are everywhere and even during times wheb they're not supposed to make any single movement to violence," Duterte said during his visit to Urduja-hit Biliran.

"Be careful. There's a gun everywhere. The New People's Army, they have guns which are manufactured locally. And I said, to those who have guns, shoot them. I would rather see dead enemies of the state," he added.

Duterte's statement came following the reported attack of around 50 NPA rebels against Philippine Army troops tasked to deliver food supplies to storm victims in Catubig, Northern Samar.

The NPA's attack resulted in the wounding of two soldiers identified as Corporal Yzazel Laure and Private First Class Ronald Gomez.

Duterte earlier ended talks with the communist insurgents following their string of attacks against the police and military. He was also prompted to brand members of the Communist Party of the Philippines and its armed wing NPA as terrorists.

In a voice recording sent to Palace reporters, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. said the communists' attacks only proved that Duterte made the right decision to terminate the peace negotiations with them.

"(Duterte) conveyed his condemnation of the NPA attack on humanitarian soldiers engaged in humanitarian work in Samar, reiterating that this is the reason why he has opted to cease all talks with the NPA," Roque said. (SunStar Philippines)
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