Be alert to repel New People’s Army offensive

PHILIPPINE National Police chief, Director General Oscar D. Albayalde has reminded the Cordillera Police Regional Office to be always on a high state of alert to repel New People’s Army offensive in the region which he said is being done by the rebels to paint an image that they are still a force to reckon with.

The PNP chief issued the instruction as he, joined by PP Deputy Chief for Operations, Lieutenant General Archie Francisco F. Gamboa and Cordillera police director, Brigadier General Israel Ephraim T. Dickson pinned Wounded Personnel Medals to a group of local policemen who have been wounded in clashes with the guerrillas since last week.

Dickson said they have stepped-up their security across the region particularly on lightly-guarded police stations and other government facilities in the wake of the series of NPA attacks, the latest of which took place in Tadian, Mountain Province on Tuesday last week wherein NPA guerrillas used banned landmines to kill one policeman and wound eight others.

Dickson said that the rebel offensive came in the heels of their recent anniversary and a police operation in Mount Kapuwao in Barangay Bagnen Proper in Bauko municipality last March 29 which thwarted their launching of their so-called ‘permit-to-campaign’ activities on candidates for the May 13 national and local elections.

The official also condemned the NPA’s use of landmines.

“Only terrorists resort to landmines, as often seen in the news from around the world. International humanitarian law and the Geneva Conventions have outlawed the use of landmines in warfare because of the risk of civilian casualties or collateral damage,” Dickson said.

According to the Cordillera police director, the NPA Mountain Province movement, with its latest use of landmines, has placed itself once again in the ranks of ISIS, Abu Sayyaf, and other organizations that employ Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) as tools for extortion, intimidation, and terrorism.

“It underscores their desperation in losing their relevance to Philippine society, and their descent into banditry and “peace saboteurs,” he said.

Dickson however said that despite the mounting NPA attacks, they are still committed to maintaining peace in the region by ascribing to the present administration’s offer to misguided youth and adults deceived by NPA propaganda.