DEFENSE Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Sunday blasted the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) for claiming that the United States was behind the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) attack on Bohol last week that left 14 people dead including a leader of the terrorist group and four government troops.
“The CPP, as before, has become delusional and can no longer distinguish between what is fact and what is fantasy,” Lorenzana said in a statement.
The CPP also questioned statements issued by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and called the military operations “overkill.”
“The Philippine Air Force dropped nine bombs in Barangay Napo, Calenti and Banahao in Inabangan forcing at least 1,200 local residents people to evacuate,” it said.
“The AFP media office, known for spinning fake news stories, has produced a highly dubious story of no less than 60 fully armed men who traveled three hundred kilometers by boat from Sulu to Bohol, unhampered by the whole AFP establishment, then upstream to a place unknown to them with only a general plan to ‘target tourists,’” the CPP added.
But the Defense chief said the group has become a victim of its own propagandizing and has rendered itself inutile and an unreliable source of the truth.
“It is not and has never been credible. Definitely, transparency is not a value they have. Just like the Plaza Miranda bombing which they hatched, executed, denied, and eventually admitted, the CPP is likely to create scenarios and will pass off these lies as the truth in order to push its selfish, anti-people and anti-government motives, such as extortion, kidnapping and intimidation,” Lorenzana noted.
He said if there is a fake organization composed of individuals pretending to be patriots and nationalists-, it is these “communist terrorists.”
On Tuesday, government forces clashed with heavily armed members of the ASG spotted in a town in Bohol on Tuesday, a day after security officials confirmed the existence of a terror threat in Central Visayas.
The officials said the fighting erupted in the village of Ilaya in Inabanga town where civilians reported to the police the presence of Abu Sayyaf bandits who arrived in several speedboats.
The firefight occurred two days after the United States Embassy in Manila issued a travel advisory warning its citizens against travelling to Cebu and Bohol because of the threat of kidnapping.
Intelligence reports said the armed men were led by ASG sub-leader Muammar Askali alias Abu Rami, whose group was initially monitored in Sindangan, Zamboanga del Norte.
The terrorists reached Inabanga on Monday night.
The military confirmed that Askali was among the attackers killed in the clash.