Successful Las Navas ambush a punishment of the military
in reponse to the people's demand*
Dec. 18, 2010
The Efren Martires Command of the New People's Army-Eastern Visayas today hailed the success of the NPA's ambush in Brgy. Sta. Fe, Las Navas, Northern Samar last Dec. 14 and said that it was in response to the people's demand. "We commend the NPA in Northern Samar for heeding the people's demand to punish the military, killing 10 fascist troops of the 63rd IB and confiscating 11 high-powered firearms," said Ka Karlos Manuel, EMC spokesperson. "The 8th Infantry Division had it coming for committing many human rights abuses in the second half of this year in widespread military operations on Samar Island. The people have long been seething and demanding the punishment of 8th ID troops responsible for bombing their communities, killing suspected NPA supporters, destroying crops, looting and burning houses, torturing and harassing the people, forcing mass evacuations and other rights violations. The militarization of Samar and the consequent abuses were glossed over by 8th ID chief Gen. Mario Chan, with his meaningless boasts of having "captured" 43 NPA camps and that the NPA was finished. Now Gen. Chan is eating his own words and the people are rejoicing at the sterling victory of the NPA and the punishment of the fascist tormentors."
Manuel also expressed regret at the reported death of a child in the ambush but pinned responsibility on the military. "News reports state the child was not inside the ambush area but swimming in a nearby river. The NPA had defined targets within the ambush area, so how could the child be hit when he was not even inside the danger zone? The EMC instead believes the child was either hit by the ambushed soldiers firing indiscriminately to save themselves, or else deliberately shot afterwards by enemy reinforcements for anti-NPA black propaganda. The NPA certainly welcomes any investigation that would strengthen the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law and the prospects for peace negotiations."
The EMC spokesperson also said the NPA offensive occurred before the mutual ceasefire between the NDFP and the Philippine government on Dec. 16 with which it is now complying. "The NPA views with disdain the comments by Gen. Chan that the Las Navas ambush is an act of treachery, even though it happened before the ceasefire, and furthermore implying that the NDFP is insincere about the peace talks. Gen. Chan is contemptible for accusing the NPA of warmongering when it is the 8th ID that has been mounting massive military operations on Samar Island for the past months and causing untold suffering to the people. The ambushed 63rd IB troops were in fact on their routine combat operation, the reason why the NPA had correctly anticipated their movements and prepared to do battle. And if insincerity should be cited, it is on the part of the 8th ID and the Aquino government, who have militarized Samar and are preparing a fresh offensive next year to supplant Oplan Bantay Laya."
Manuel however assured the officials and members of the military and police who have no serious crimes that they will not be arrested or punished during the NPA's ceasefire from 00:01H of Dec. 16,2010 to 23:59H of January 3, 2011. "They may also individually visit their friends and families inside the territory of the people's democratic government. At the same time, the EMC calls on all NPA units to actively defend themselves only if there is a clear and present danger, and to closely monitor enemy movements and immediately report any ceasefire violation by the enemy. Violations that may be reported include operations by the military, paramilitary and police; fascist violence such as harassments and road blockades; and other hostile actions within and around guerrilla zones and fronts. Any ceasefire violation by enemy forces should be immediately reported to the Information Bureau of the Communist Party of the Philippines."