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Guerrillas threaten new attacks; military unfazed

MANILA, Philippines - Communist rebels yesterday threatened to stage more attacks to dispel the military’s claim that 23 provinces have been freed from insurgency.

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) labeled as “annual yearend empty bragging” the military’s statement that it has succeeded in making these provinces insurgency-free.

“The AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) has been known to make such claims, only to be slapped in the face after a few days by NPA (New People’s Army) offensives,” CPP said in a statement.

“In the next few weeks and months, the AFP will again be eating its own words as the NPA continues to launch more and more tactical offensives across the archipelago,” it added.

The CPP said a local NPA unit launched an attack in Burauen, Leyte last Dec. 11, three days after the AFP claimed that the province is insurgency-free.

The military, however, insisted that the 23 provinces have been freed from the rebels’ influence.

“The liberation of 23 provinces from the CPP-NPA-NDF (National Democratic Front) influence is not a claim of the AFP alone but of the local government, the peace-loving citizens from these provinces and the Filipino nation as well,” said AFP spokesman Col. Arnulfo Burgos Jr.

The NPA is the armed wing of the NDF while the CPP is its political arm.

Burgos said they are ready to repel any atrocity to be launched by the insurgents.

“Their (rebels) threat proves that they really want to sow violence. They will continue to lose support from the people,” he said.

Last week, the AFP said 23 provinces have been declared insurgency-free due to the government’s development projects.

The projects were designed to address poverty and involved the participation of civilian stakeholders.
A number of provinces were declared insurgency-free as early as 2010 or before the implementation of the security plan Bayanihan.

The military said the strength of the communist rebels stands at about 4,100.
By Alexis Romero The Philippine Star Updated January 02, 2012 12:00 AM


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