Like Malacañang, the Philippine Army in Bohol downplayed the statement of exiled Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Ma. Sison which warned on continuous attacks that could kill one state soldier per day.
Threats from the New People’s Army (NPA), the CPP’s armed wing, are nothing new to army troops in the province who have long been prepared for offensives by communist rebels and other lawless elements, said Lt. Col. Joel Malig Jr., commander of the 47th Infantry Battalion.
Malig’s statement was made after Sison warned that the rebels could kill one soldier a day to push the government into reviving stalled peace talks.
According to Malig, Sison aired the statement as threat particularly to civilians as the NPA’s movement started to become limited with strengthened offensives against the rebel group across the country.
Although the province officially remains insurgency-free, Malig also called on the public to maintain vigilance and to immediately report to authorities suspicious activities and personalities in their respective areas.
For his part, Col. Ignacio Madriaga, commander of the 302nd Infantry Brigade, lauded efforts of communities in Bohol in supporting the government’s drive to keep the province insurgency-free.
Madriaga called on rebels to consider Bohol’s vigilance against insurgents as sign that residents are in favor of peace to push progress in the province.
“Sa mga kaibigan natin na armado, na nasa rebolusyon, pakinggan ninyo ang collective voice, collective desire ng mga ating kababayan na Bol-anon na nagsasabi na ‘gusto namin ng tahimik na buhay, ayaw na namin ng armas, ayaw na namin ng kaguluhan’ kaya sana makipagtulungan nalang sila,” said Madriaga.
On Wednesday, Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque told national media that the government would not yield to Sison’s demand.
Roque also warned that the NPA would be committing “kidnapping” if the rebel group captured government peace negotiators. (RT)