BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
The New People’s Army Apolinario Gatmaitan Command has vowed to continue launching tactical offensives against the Philippine Army and the National Police in Negros Island.
This is in response to alleged illegal arrests and planting of evidence against civilians, who, the NPA claims, are victims of widespread militarization in the countryside.
Rebel spokesman Ka Juanito Magbanua claimed in a statement that they have recorded at least five cases of extra-judicial killings, 27 illegal arrests and planting of evidence, cases of physical torture of at least 50 enforced surrenders, and harassments in Negros island, since June.
Magbanua said these human rights violations perpetrated by the AFP/PNP are against innocents, mostly farmers, in their crackdown spree under the Executive Order 70, and the recently passed Terror Law despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
He added that the violent acts are in retaliation to the successful tactical offensives mounted by the NPA, most recently the ambushes in Himamaylan City and Ilog, Negros Occidental, and a partisan operation in Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental.
Magbanua also dismissed as baseless propaganda the claims from the military that the revolutionary movement about to fall in Negros Island. He said the NPA continues to operate at five guerilla fronts in Negros Island.*