Army condemns NPA ‘terror act’ in Surigao Norte

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BUTUAN CITY – Top officials of the Philippine Army in the Caraga Region have denounced the “terroristic act” of the New People’s Army (NPA), following the attack on a construction site on Monday.

In a statement on Thursday (October 17), the Army’s 30th Infantry Battalion said the communist guerillas “manifested a gross disregard of the safety of civilians” when they attacked CTB Construction in Barangay Campo, Bacuag, Surigao del Norte, last October 14.

Lt. Col. Jeffry A. Villarosa, 30IB commander, said the rebels “engaged in indiscriminate firing” and burned several equipment belonging to the construction firm.

Villarosa said the perpetrators are believed to be members of Guerilla Front 16 of the NPA’s North Eastern Mindanao Regional Committee and led by a certain Alberto Castaneda.

The Army said the rebels burned a backhoe loader and indiscriminately fired at the other equipment inside the stocking area. It said the company is engaged in widening works at the Bacuag-Gigaquit Road as part of the “Build, Build, Build Program” of the government.

“The equipment that they attacked are not military targets and are not in any way involved in any armed conflict,” Villarosa said, adding that the houses of construction workers, as well as civilians in the area, were also hit by the indiscriminate firing of the NPAs.

“This shows that they will sabotage and even murder and abduct innocent civilians in order to extort regardless of the damage they inflict to the community,” he added.

The Army official asked for the cooperation of Surigao del Norte residents “to end the atrocities of the communist movement in the area”.

Col. Maurito L. Licudine, the Army’s 402nd Brigade commander, said NPA atrocities “continue to hamper the peace and development of the people in Caraga Region”.

The NPA, the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines, Licudine added, “use terror and threat as their way to control people”.

He called on residents “not to faint and feel weak to the treacherous tactics of the communist rebels but to help the government bring the terrorist NPAs to justice”.

The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. (PNA)