Surigao attack shows NPA’s disrespect for life, law
By Christopher Lloyd Caliwan / Philippine News Agency
MANILA – The recent attack of the New People’s Army (NPA) on a construction site in Surigao del Sur that resulted in the death of a civilian is yet another proof that communists know nothing but kill and spread dissent.
Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar said the NPA rebels who torched construction equipment, killed site caretaker Eldrin Daraman, and injured two others in Lanuza town on Thursday showed anew the group’s disrespect for life and rule of law.
The owners of the construction site reportedly did not give in to the extortion demands of the rebels.
“I strongly condemn this senseless attack perpetrated by CPP (Communist Party of the Philippines)-NPA rebels. They do nothing but cause chaos, violence, and death,” Eleazar said in a statement sent to reporters on Saturday.
Eleazar said the MR1 Construction in Purok 2, Barangay Zone 2 was attacked by about 20 members of the CPP-NPA North Eastern Mindanao Regional Committee-Guerrilla Front 30.
The rebels engaged responding elements of the Lanuza Municipal Police Station, Surigao del Sur 2nd Provincial Mobile Force Company, and the 36th Infantry Battalion in a brief firefight before fleeing.
International law violators
Eleazar said the incident violated the International Humanitarian Law and Republic Act 9851, or the Philippine Act on Crimes Against International Humanitarian Law, Genocide, and Other Crimes Against Humanity, when the rebels intentionally directed attacks against a civilian population not taking direct part in hostilities.
“Sa ginagawa ng mga rebeldeng komunista na pag-atake sa mga sibilyan, kasama na dito ang paggamit ng landmines, pinatutunayan nila na wala silang respeto sa International Humanitarian Law (With communist rebels carrying out attacks on civilians, including the use of landmines, they are proving that they have no respect for International Humanitarian Law),” he stressed.
He has ordered police forces in the Caraga Region to intensify pursuit operations and legal offensive actions against the attackers.
“Patunay ito na nagsisinungaling ang CPP-NPA noong sinabi nilang hindi sadya ang pagkakapaslang nila sa Absalon cousins sa Masbate City (This proves that the CPP-NPA lied when they said that they did not deliberately kill the Absalon cousins in Masbate City),” he said, referring to Kieth and Nolven who died in an anti-personnel mine explosion while cycling on June 6.
“Hindi talaga dapat pagkatiwalaan ang mga rebeldeng komunista dahil sinalakay nila ang construction site kung saan mga trabahador lamang ang mga biktima, dahil tumanggi ang kumpanya sa kanilang tangkang pangingikil (The communist rebels should not be trusted because they attacked the construction site, where only workers were the victims, because the company refused to give what they want),” he added.
In a separate statement, Brig. Gen. Romeo Caramat Jr., Caraga Director, condemned the “dastardly acts of the NPA rebels who masquerade as protectors of human rights but terrorize the business sector, as well as the local folks”.
The attack, Caramat added, would hamper the implementation of development programs and projects in the area.
He also appealed to communities to help government troops by providing vital information about the illegal activities of the enemies of the state.
“Investigators are preparing the documents for filing of multiple charges against the perpetrators. We assure the ends of justice will be served for the victims and their families. The NPA terrorists deserve to suffer the full wrath of the law,” Caramat said.
The CPP-NPA, which has been waging a five-decade armed struggle against the government, is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. (PNA)