PHILIPPINE National Police (PNP) Chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa admitted Thursday, March 22, that they received reports about the communist rebels' revival of their hit squad Special Partisan Unit, also known as Sparu unit.
The revival, Dela Rosa said, was done to step up the New People's Army (NPA) rebels' attacks against government soldiers following the termination of peace talks.
"Right after noong pinutol ni Presidente (Rodrigo Duterte) ‘yung peace talks, napansin namin nagstep up (sila) because they want to prove something na they are force to be reckoned with... Nag-step up sila ngayon," he said.
He assured though the rebels will have a hard time controlling one area, "dahil isang text lang may report na sila (they will be reported to authorities in just one text)."
Dela Rosa said most of the Sparu units are operating in Northern Mindanao, Davao Region, Soccsksargen and Caraga, where their main goal was to “liquidate” enemies, including police and soldiers.
He said in 2017, 56 Sparu-related incidents were recorded, while nine others were recorded from January until March 2018.
Dela Rosa said the latest incident perpetrated by the NPA’s Sparu units was the killing of a soldier in Agusan del Sur. The soldier was shot dead in front of a bank.
“Ang kawawang sundalo nagpa-encash ng sweldo. Paglabas sa bangko kasama asawa niya, hinablot bag niya, then binaril ‘yung sundalo, patay (The soldier went to the bank with his wife to encash a cheque, but as they were about to leave the bank, a gunman snatched their bag and shot the soldier dead),” he said.
Meantime, Dela Rosa said police officers are undergoing reorientation to ensure their preparedness in case Sparu units attack their areas of responsibility.
He said the PNP commissioned at least 10 “seasoned police officers,” consist of retired police officials, who were visiting police stations nationwide to lecture about the anti-insurgency operation.
Earlier, Duterte warned the country’s security forces about the resurgence of the NPA’s Sparu unit after he ordered the cancellation of peace talks between the government and the Communist Party of the Philippines-National Democratic Front of the Philippines in November 2017.
Duterte made the decision following the continuous attacks conducted by the NPA against the government forces amid the ongoing peace talks.
"I'm trying to enlist also the help of former police officers assigned in Mindanao... Nagbibigay ako ng mga armas — with all these, the caveat, the warning na bantay kayo sa Sparu," he said. (SunStar Philippines)