By Anthony Vargas Correspondent
THE Philippine National Police (PNP) claimed on Friday that the New People’s Army (NPA) rebels were more active in committing atrocities during this year’s campaign period for the mid-term local and national elections.
Data from the PNP national operations center in Camp Crame said that since the election period took effect last January 13, police recorded a total of 16 atrocities committed by NPA rebels in different parts of the country.
The figure is higher than the 13 atrocities that were committed by the Maoist rebels during the Presidential elections of 2010.
The PNP data said that the NPA rebels have committed at least seven ambuscades, targeting government security forces; seven harassment incidents; one extortion and another incident of a different case.
Among the atrocities that were committed by the NPA during election period was the ambush of the convoy of Mayor Ruthie Guingona of Gingoog City in Misamis Oriental on April 20.
Mayor Guingona, wife of former vice president Teofisto Guingona, was hurt and two of her security escorts were killed in the said ambush that earned widespread condemnation for the Maoist rebels.
Nine persons, including policeman, were killed and nine others were injured, after NPA rebels ambushed a government convoy in a remote village in La Castellana, Negros Occidental on January 27.
Despite the heightened atrocities by the NPA during the election period, PNP Chief, Director General Alan Purisima said he believes that this was a sign that the rebels’ strength was ‘apparently’ dwindling.
“As you can see, most of their activities are harassment and they are victimizing anyone to extort money,” Purisima told reporters in a press briefing in Camp Crame.