Gazmin: No threat during NPA anniversary, so far


THE Department of National Defense (DND) has so far not received reports of threats from the New People’s Army (NPA) as the guerrilla movement enters its 44th year on Good Friday.

“So far, we haven’t receive anything yet but we expect the NPA to do something because they crave attention,” Defense Secretary Voltaire T. Gazmin said.

The armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), the NPA was formed on March 29, 1969. It is waging what is considered to be Asia’s longest-running insurgency movement.

Gazmin said the expected NPA attack could also stem from the stalled peace talks between the government and the National Democrtic Front, the CPP-NPA’s negotiating arm.

“That’s why they’re going to do something to be noticed.”

Gazmin said that “while the Philippine government has been very sincere in the peace talks, that has not been seen on their side.”

“How can we arrive at an agreement when they’re wishy-washy: today they’re okay; tomorrow, they’re not. Their position is not clear.”

He added that the CPP-NPA is also asking too many things in return.

“They wanted to include on the list of people authorized [to be representatives in the peace talks] many of those who we arrested. But that can’t be because we have laws and these people were arrested because they have standing warrants of arrest.”

Gazmin added that if the CPP-NPA really wants the peace talks to resume, “there should be no conditions, like what they are demanding for the release of Police Officer 3 Ruben Magno Nojapa Jr.

“For example, in that case, they want a cease-fire before they release Nojapa. But if they reall want to release him, they can do so any time, whether there’s a cease-fire or not.”

The NDF on its web site “Philippine Revolution Web Central” said that it “enjoins” the 10th Infantry “Agila” Division of the Army “to cease its offensive military operations in Compostela Valley to pave the safe, orderly and expeditious release” of Nojapa.

The NDF said it considers Nojapa a “prisoner of war.”

Last year armed encounters and surrender of NPA guerillas marked the insurgent movement’s anniversary.

Dennis Estopace

Source http://businessmirror.com.ph/index.php/news/nation/11300-gazmin-no-threat-during-npa-anniversary-so-far

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