Monday, August 23, 2010

In defense of the people against Oplan Bantay Laya: NPA offensive in Catarman victorious, more to come-NDF

In defense of the people against Oplan Bantay Laya:
NPA offensive in Catarman victorious, more to come

Efren Martirez Command
NPA - Eastern Visayas
August 22, 2010

The Efren Martires Command of the New People's Army in Eastern Visayas hailed today the NPA's successful tactical offensive against the Philippine National Police within the provincial capital of Catarman, Northern Samar on the morning of August 21. "Initial reports state that the NPA punished village councilor Rolando de Guia for espionage in Brgy. Imelda, Catarman, about a kilometer from the town proper," said Ka Karlos Manuel, EMC spokesperson. "Expected enemy reinforcements were then ambushed by the people's army, who used command-detonated explosives (which are manually set off) to disable their vehicle. At least eight police elements were killed in action, including Sr. Insp. Nicasio San Antonio, Catarman deputy police chief. The NPA also confiscated at least seven pistols and four M16 rifles."

Manuel belied the claims by Sr. Supt. Vicente Loot, PNP deputy regional director for operations, that the policemen were not on combat operations and that the NPA captured and then executed them. "Regular forces of the police and military are clearly legitimate targets for NPA tactical offensives. As can also be seen from the weapons taken from them, the policemen were heavily-armed and battle-ready and were accordingly killed in action. Moreover, the NPA always gives enemy combatants the chance to surrender if they could no longer fight. The NPA abides by international humanitarian law in respecting the rights of captured enemy combatants as well the hors d'combat. Wounded enemy personnel are also taken care of by NPA medics. The PNP seems to be covering up its embarrassment because the NPA could carry out a tactical offensive within the provincial capital and close to the town proper at that."

The NPA-EV said that the Catarman tactical offensive and more to come are the NPA's answer to the Aquino regime's extension of Oplan Bantay Laya. "The people are suffering from economic hardships, but the Aquino regime remains indifferent to the peace talks that should be discussing socio-economic reforms. Instead, the Aquino regime is extending Oplan Bantay Laya, which has been widely condemned for political killings and other attacks on innocent civilians. Thus the NPA is defending the people and delivering the message to the Aquino regime that Oplan Bantay Laya and any other plan of fascist state terrorism will be defeated. The NPA will be launching even more tactical offensives in fighting to strategically raise the level of the people's war in the next five years."