The New People’s Army (NPA) on Thursday claimed responsibility for the daring attack on Sunday of the police station in Governor Generoso town, Davao Oriental and the capture of its chief of police.
NPA spokesman, Rigoberto Sanchez, said the group is holding Chief Insp. Arnold Ongachen, who is currently being interrogated by his captors after a packet of suspected shabu was found in his possession.
Sanchez said the attack targeted the municipal police force “based on the people’s demand to punish the protectors of rampant drug trafficking in the area.”
He said rebel forces seized 11 automatic rifles and pistols from the police armory. The next day, he said, the Red fighters also killed several government troops sent to rescue Ongachen, now a prisoner of war.
Sanchez added that the town has been identified as gateway of illegal drug trade in the province and that government officials have ignored the existence of the nefarious activities there. He also accused the 28th Infantry Battalion of sabotaging the NPA’s planned raid on a laboratory being run by drug syndicates in the village of Tibanban.
President-elect Rodrigo Duterte has called on the rebels to immediately free Ongachen, but Sanchez stressed “the NPA remains committed to its task of serving the poor and marginalized peasant masses and Lumads.”
Sanchez added that peasants and Lumads have complained that policemen have long protected the land-grabbing activities of prominent families in the province.
“(NPA) continues to wage war against the enemies of the people, especially Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police troops who victimize and terrorize the masses. It is the sole army that conducts punitive actions against drug lords, land-grabbers, abusive big miners and criminal syndicates. It is the People’s army that metes out justice against those who plunder the land, the people, and the youth,” he said.
The rebels have been fighting for decades now for the establishment of a Maoist state in the country. Duterte said he would reopen stalled peace talks with the communist group and has even appointed recently leftist leaders in his Cabinet.