The Central Mindanao Police Regional Office 12 has revealed that Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) guerrillas will gather their forces in various areas in the country for a show force, apparently to belittle a report of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) that they are a gang of extortionists and terrorists.
Police Senior Supt. Fanklin Alvero, provincial director of South Cotabato, confirmed the threat, saying the CPP-NPA will conduct massive attacks on designated police checkpoints and Army detachments in Central Mindanao.
About 300 NPA fighters massed up in a rebel camp in Barangay Lumiad, Paquibato District in Davao region recently.
The assembly was witnessed by an estimated 3,000 members and supporters of the NPA.
The communist rebels are celebrating their founding anniversary on March 29.
In January, the NPA rebels burned down nine buses of the Yellow Bus Line Co. (YBL) allegedly for failure of the bus owners to pay “revolutionary” tax.
Total damage was estimated at P30 million.
The burning of the YBL buses alarmed the Ritchie Yap family, owner of the bus company.
The bus firm may have to stop their business to the detriment of about 700 employees, according to Boy Par, the company’s operations manager based in Koronadal City.
“Its not worth dying anymore that we will continue the business as the NPA guerillas continue to burn the buses along the routes in various parts of the region because the management could not give in to their demand for ‘revolutionary’ tax. The company will be forced to shut down its operation if these harassment will continue and would cause the retrenchment of 700 employees,” Par said.
South Cotabato Gov. Daisy Avance-Fuentes made an appeal in a TV interview, urging the police and military to closely be on guard and to monitor the harassments carried out by the NPA through illegally collecting money from businessmen.
Fuentes also urged the heads of the NPA to calm down and respect the communities in the areas, especially the businessmen who help the province achieve progress.
According to intelligence reports, the order to collect and demand revolutionary tax come from the Main Regional Guerilla Command to finance the CPP-NPA recruitment of teenagers to join the communist army.
The reports said that even resumption of peace negotiation between the government and the National Democratic Front (NDF) cannot prevent the Main Regional Guerilla Command from exacting revolutionary tax.
Meanwhile, the NPA rebels continue to attack police and military personnel in various parts of Mindanao, displacing residents.
Last Wednesday, about 357 persons were evacuated after the communist guerrillas harassed Barangay Hinimbangan in Kitcharao, Agusan del Norte where the military was conducting development support and security operations.
On the same day, NPA spokesman Rigoberto Sanchez claimed they raided the house of a police agent in Kidapawan City, North Cotabato and seized assorted weapons.