Reds' act of hampering disaster ops 'senseless, heartless': DILG

By Christopher Lloyd Caliwan / Philippine News Agency

DILG Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya (Screengrab from virtual presser)

MANILA – While the government is sparing no effort in attending to the needs of typhoon victims, the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) does nothing but hamper relief operation efforts that makes the situation even worse, a Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) official said on Monday.


Speaking at the virtual National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) presser, DILG Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya chided the communist terrorist group for their “senseless and heartless acts’’ in the midst of a dire situation such as natural calamities.


“I truly believe that this is a common responsibility to exercise all steps, to once and for all stop this pandemic which has been hurting us for almost two years now ngunit ang masakit kasi nito meron tayong mga kababayan na imbes sana makatulong sa panahon ng pandemiya sa panahon ng bagyo ay sila pa ang sumisira sa diskarteng ginagawa ng ating pamahalaan ito yung mga deplorable, senseless and heartless act of the communist terrorist groups (I truly believe that this is common responsibility to exercise all steps once and for all, to stop this pandemic which has been hurting us for almost two years now but what is bad here is we have compatriots who destroy the efforts of the government instead of helping),” Malaya said.


Last December 15, communist terrorists staged two separate attacks on government disaster response missions ahead of the onslaught of Typhoon Odette in Samar and Surigao del Sur.


Two civilians were wounded after NPA rebels ambushed a convoy of Philippine Army soldiers and civilians engaged in preemptive evacuation operations in Barangay Cancavan, Carmen, Surigao del Sur.


In Samar, two Philippine National Police (PNP) Special Action Force troopers and a civilian were wounded in another attack in Barangay del Rosario in Matuguinao town while police and local government authorities were prepositioning relief supplies to high-risk communities.


Meanwhile, NPA members also killed farmer Mario Landisa, who was walking on his way home Barangay Cabacungan in La Castellana, Negros Occidental, on December 20.


Based on initial investigation, the rebels demanded rice and money from Landisa, who refused because he also needs to provide for his family as they have been affected by Typhoon Odette.


“The DILG condemns these extremely blatant disregard for human life amidst a disaster. Wala po silang panahon na pinipili para biktimahin ang ating mga kabayayan kasama na ang ating mga kasundaluhan at kapulisan na hindi naman gumagawa ng operation (They do not choose any time in victimizing the civilians, soldiers and policemen who were not conducting any operation),’’ Malaya said.


He added that these acts show the big difference between the motives of the government and the communist movement.


“If we look at the response of the government compared to the communist terrorist groups who want to overthrow the government and establish a socialist country dominated by the Communist Party of the Philippines, we will see a big difference in the government's concern compared to horror or tragedy of what this communist terrorist will bring if they succeed in our country therefore it is still clear in broad daylight that the government truly loves and cares and supports the people and the CPP-NPA-NDF that we see in their actions at the time of disaster they are really the plague on society. Paano tayo maniniwala na sila (terrorists) ay nakikipaglaban para sa kabutihan ng ating bansa kung sila mismo ang bumibiktima sa mga taong gustong tumulong sa ating mga kababayan? (How can we believe that they are fighting for the country’s welfare if they are the ones victimizing the people helping our countrymen),’’ he added.


With these unfortunate incidents, Malaya assured that additional PNP personnel will be dispatched to protect the LGUs from rebel attacks, saying there is a lack of police officers in the mountainous areas.


“We will do what we can for them pero ang ginagawa natin ngayon is yung mga kaukulang kaso ay kailanganmai-file natin para kung mahuli natin ang mga yan pwede sila agad makulong (but what we are doing now is to file the appropriate cases where they can be imprisoned in case they are arrested). They should be responsible for that crime,’’ he added.


Malaya said the government will push through with its disaster response and rehabilitation efforts.


Bababa kami sa mga LGUs not later than Thursday this week with Secretary Bautista and Secretary Año, pupunta kami sa disaster affected areas para makita kung nakakarating yung tulong sa ating mga kababayan at siguruhin din na iparamdam sa ating mga kababayan yung malasakit ng ating pamahalaan (They will visit in LGUs not later than Thursday this week with Sec Bautista and Sec. Año we will go to the disaster affected areas to see if the aid reaches our countrymen and also make sure that our countrymen feel the concern of our government),” he noted.


President Rodrigo Duterte earlier tasked the DILG to supervise the distribution of cash aid in urban centers while the military has been tasked to manage aid distribution in hard-to-reach areas.


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.


The Anti-Terrorism Council also formally designated the National Democratic Front as a terrorist organization on June 23, 2021, citing it as “an integral and separate part” of the CPP-NPA that was created in April 1973. (PNA)

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