Including raid on Henry Sy’s Pico de Loro resort in Nasugbu
THE communist New People’s Army (NPA) undertook 18 armed attacks against government forces in February alone, or at the height of the peace talks, according to information in the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) publication Ang Bayan.
I don’t know if President Duterte was even aware of this, as he had not pointed to these attacks as the reason why he terminated the peace talks. Rather, it was the cold-blooded killing of three Army soldiers February 28 in Malaybalay, Bukidnon, and the communists’ demand to free 400 of their comrades, captured and presently in jail, which he said convinced him to end the peace talks.
The CPP, however did boast of the 18 attacks against government forces, euphemistically calling these ” active defense” in its February 7 edition of Ang Bayan.
“Various units of the NPA launched more than 18 armed actions all over the country in compliance with the directive of its National Operations Command to undertake active defense to defend the welfare of the citizens and of the revolutionary forces,” the party publication said in Filipino (my translation).
Only a fool, though, would call the following attacks as made only in “active defense” which I quote verbatim, translated from the Pilipino:
• “The NPA Eduardo Dagli Command in Batangas harassed a detachment of the Philippine Air Force February 1 at Sitio Buntog, Barangay Bulihan, Nasugbu.”
• “The NPA Celso Minguez Command in Quezon ambushed a patrol of the 31st Infantry Batallion in Trece Martires, Casiguran, February 6. Two soldiers were wounded.”
• “The NPA’s Napoleon Tumagtang Command in Southern Panay attacked troops of the 82nd Infantry battalion and the 3rd Infantry Battalion that were conducting operations in Baragnay Boloc, Tubungan, Ilioilo and Barangay Osorio III in San Remigio, Antique.”
• “Red fighters harassed troops of the 8th Infantry Battalion camped at Barangay Concepcion, Valencia City, Bukidnon.”
• “Red fighters February 2 captured and declared prisoners-of-war two soldiers of the 39th Infantry Battalion at Telefas, Columbio, Sultan Kudarat.
Quite obviously, the NPA acted as if there were no peace talks at all. There could be only two explanations for this.
First, the “peace talks” are merely a tactic for the communists to keep the Republic’s military cooped up in their camps, unable to undertake operations against the NPA, while the latter expands its recruitment and areas of operations. In past peace talks, the NPA recovered areas they had lost when there were no peace talks, and executed barangay officials who had cooperated with the government.
Second, the peace negotiators, mainly Jose Sison, Fidel Agcaoili, and Jalandoni who have lived in the Netherlands for over 30 years have no influence or control at all over the NPA, or the party leadership in the Philippines, which continue their programs for expanding their territory while their comrades abroad make fools of government negotiators. Without any role in the revolution, Sison et al’s existence and lives in that social-welfare advanced country, are justified only if they pretend to be undertaking the noble pursuit of peace.
Pico de Loro attack
The biggest incident that not only exposes the peace talks as a huge deception by the Communist Party, but the NPA as a threat to the country’s image as a safe place for tourists and investors was the NPA’s attack January 29 at the tycoon Henry Sy’s Pico de Loro resort, which is just two hours from Makati and a favorite weekend escape for the rich from the polluted metropolis. Strangely, the broadsheets did not report it.
Following is the communist newspaper Ang Bayan’s account (translated form Filipino) of this attack in its February 7 edition, which it described as intended to “punish Henry Sy”:
“The NPA confiscated forty-one arms, including 14 M-16s and 20 shotguns, thousands of bullets, magazines, and communications equipment in two raids to punish the Selective Security Agency and 3-I Security Agency on January 29, 6:30 to 7.45 in the evening at Barangay Papaya, Nasugbu (location of Pico de Loro, with these agencies those guarding the resort–RDT)
“The Red fighters of the NPA’s Eduardo Dagli Command of Batangas disarmed the guards and armed goons of Henry Sy at Hacienda Looc. The NPA, however, made sure that guards and employees of the security agencies were not harmed.
“The attack was part of the NPA’s step to punish Henry Sy and his guards for the violent grabbing of lands at Hacienda Looc. These guards have several times aimed their guns at farmers living in this land. The guards have also prevented fishermen from fishing in the waters of Hamilo Cove and driving farmers away from Henry Sy’s lands at Barangay Calayo and Barangay Papaya.”
The number of NPA attacks appears to be more than the 18 claimed in the Ang Bayan article. NPA spokesman “Ka Oris” says it is 30, in the following statement issued February 11 with which he announced—in a tone of intrepidity, I would say—the CPP’s declaration of all-out war on President Duterte’s administration:
“Starting today, the Unilateral Declaration of Interim Ceasefire is now completely terminated. All NPA commands and territorial units, as well as people’s militia and self-defense units, can now take the full initiative to defend the people and advance their interests, especially in the face of the declaration of all-out war of the Duterte regime.
“Since February 1, we eagerly waited for the GRP’s positive response to widespread clamor for it to implement its CARHRIHL obligations (primarily the release of all political prisoners) which could have preempted the termination of the CPP and NPA’s unilateral ceasefire. Contrary to the hopes of the people, however, GRP Pres. Duterte displayed intransigence and arbitrarily cancelled all peace negotiations, playing to the AFP line of an ‘all-out war’ against the CPP and NPA.
“Over the past ten days, responding to orders to carry out active defense, NPA units carried out almost 30 military actions to defend the rights and welfare of the people, primarily against AFP troops occupying barangays and conducting strike operations. In its active defense posture, NPA operations were launched exclusively against paramilitary groups and uniformed personnel conducting combat, intelligence and psywar operations within the territories of the revolutionary government. A case in point is the February 1 encounter between the NPA and troops of the 8th IB which had been occupying Barangays Kibalabag and Manalog, 36 kilometers from the center of Malaybalay City, Bukidnon.
“No longer restricted by the active defense policy, the NPA, from hereon, must frustrate the all-out war of suppression of the AFP by launching tactical offensives against any legitimate military target, including active troops of the AFP and PNP, paramilitary or AFP-supported armed vigilante groups, intelligence operatives, and warlord private armies in detachments, camps or operations within and beyond the NPA guerrilla zones.
“The NPA remains open to peace talks while fighting rages in the countryside. At the same time, the revolutionary masses welcome the call for tactical offensives that will strengthen the people’s army and advance the people’s war towards genuine and just peace.”
“Bring it on,” Ka Oris is defiantly telling Duterte.