THE Philippine National Police (PNP) warned that financiers of communist groups may be tagged as conspirators, accomplices, or accessories to terrorism, a spokesman said on Monday.
Chief Supt. Dionardo Carlos, however, was unsure if protest groups supporting the New People’s Army (NPA) and the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) could be considered conspirators.
“I’d check with the [Directorate for Investigative and Detection Management] DIDM regarding that,” Carlos said in a phone interview with The Manila Times on Monday.
Carlos said the PNP favored more offensive attacks than defensive ones against the NPA, which President Rodrigo Duterte has tagged as a terrorist group.
“Offense is always better than defense. Emphasize alertness, especially during administrative transport of personnel and others,” Carlos said in an order statement to the police.
Carlos said the police was strengthening its internal forces by improving its intelligence-gathering procedures and operations. He said police intelligence capabilities were now being “intensified”.
“Conduct social investigation not only for intelligence networking but to establish rapport. All personnel should know the community they are in,” Carlos said in the order.
Carlos reminded police to be on guard for possible attacks of the NPA, which reportedly threatened to be more aggressive now that Duterte had labeled them as terrorists.
“Expect possible ambushes and attacks to be launched by the NPA. Preventive and prophylactic combat patrols in coordination with the AFP should be launched in addition to target hardening of all camps and vital installations,” Carlos said.
Carlos cited the PNP’s tactical capabilities, which encompassed a national, regional, and provincial scope, made possible by police forces that handled the NPA and the CPP.
Carlos ensured that police was addressing the threats of the communist rebels against “communities, industries, private businesses, and government installations”.
Carlos informed that the police were continuously reminded about the order now that the NPA and CPP were on the list of terrorist groups.
On December 5, Duterte declared the NPA and CPP as terrorist groups through Presidential Proclamation 374.
Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said the proclamation was due to the “continued violent acts of the CPP-NPA, which sow and create a condition of widespread and extraordinary fear and panic among the populace.”
Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea directed Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II to file a petition declaring CPP-NPA as a terrorist group.
Maj. Gen. Restituto Padilla, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesman, said the military would fully execute and perform its mandate “without reservation and restrictions”. RJ CARBONELL