The Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) assured on Monday, February 5, that they are both ready for the intensified attacks of the New People’s Army (NPA).
PNP chief Ronald dela Rosa said the police will be on “attack mode.”
“Well kung sabi nila they are going to launch more attacks, then wala kaming magawa kungdi depensahan ‘yung sarili namin (If they are going to launch more attacks, we have no choice but to defend ourselves). We have to defend ourselves and be on attack mode,” he said.
Meanwhile, the AFP spokesperson Colonel Edgard Arevalo said that the military will continue to carry out its mandate of serving and protecting the people from such terrorists. “That will not diminish our resolve to further enhance our services especially peace and development efforts; and infrastructure development particularly in the countryside,” he said.
“To live in constant danger is part of sworn duty of every serviceman. With or without threat to the lives of our soldiers, our troops will be there for our people in the communities whare they are most needed,” he added.
Army spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Louie Villanueva said that as much as possible, they would work towards a peaceful resolution of the conflict. The officials were reacting to the call of Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founding chairman Jose Maria Sison for intensified attacks by the NPA, the party’s armed wing, to compel the government to return to the negotiating table.
“What the NPA can do in order to compel or persuade the GRP to resume the peace negotiations is to carry out successfully the announced plan of the CPP to intensify tactical offensives against armed units of the AFP, PNP and auxiliary forces and to punish notorious human rights violators, local tyrants, land grabbers, drug lords and other notorious criminals,” Sison said.
According to Sison, the NPA has the capacity to kill one soldier per day in each of the 17 regions, elimitae 510 government cops or five companies each month. However, he urged the NPA to spare the government peace negotiators in respect of the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (Jasig).