PNP on alert vs possible NPA atrocities during CPP's 41st anniversary

December 25, 2010 12:20 am 

MANILA, Dec. 24 — The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Friday alerted all its units nationwide for possible atrocities by maverick groups of the communist New People’s Army (NPA) in celebration of the 41st founding anniversary of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) on the Dec. 26.

PNP spokesman Chief Supt. Agrimero Cruz Jr. said that PNP chief Director General Raul Bacalzo ordered all police field units to remain vigilant to thwart any attempt from the communist group to disrupt peace.

The PNP expressed concern over this possibility in the wake of at least two recent NPA-initiated hostilities that have marred the bilateral 18-day Yuletide ceasefire declaration.

"Based on historical data, the CPP/NPA is known to launch tactical offensives to commemorate the founding anniversary of the local communist movement every 26th of December," Cruz said.

PNP security forces had been alerted to exercise vigilance against possible hostile actions by domestic threat groups even while a ceasefire was in effect.

"Our best hope for the ceasefire to hold is for the CPP/NPA leadership to be able to effectively exercise command and control over all its lower units in the countryside," Cruz said.

The government has declared suspension of offensive military operations (SOMO) against the NPA starting Dec. 16 up to Jan. 3, the longest Christmas truce in recent memory. The CPP-National Democratic Front (NDF) leadership reciprocated the SOMO.

However, on Monday a violation of the truce by the CPP/NPA was recorded in Negors Oriental where communist rebels ambushed a civilian militia member.

Also, on the eve of the start of the 18-day ceasefire, NPA insurgents detonated outlawed landmines in Northern Samar, killing 10 soldiers and a nine-year-old boy.

Security officials said the hostilities showed the lack of effective command and control by the CPP/NPA over some of its unsupervised and misled guerrilla fronts and smaller outfits.

Also, the NPA traditionally marked the CPP anniversary with atrocities to portray that the communist movement was still a force to reckon with. (PNA) RMA/MM

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