MANILA – Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar said the government security forces are not underestimating the capability of the “remaining few” of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) to regroup and launch atrocities in the country.
This, after President Rodrigo Roa Duterte last week said there are now fewer NPA activities taking place since the creation of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) and its regional task forces.
“The PNP agrees with President Duterte’s assessment that we are winning the war against communist insurgency and fully acknowledge the contributions of all government agencies and our LGUs in this endeavor,” Eleazar said in a video message Saturday.
Eleazar, however, said the PNP is “not underestimating the capability of the remaining few especially in the coming election period when they could extort money that could be used to finance atrocities and recruitment and to undermine our democratic process come May 2022.”
He said the PNP will not lower its guard in anticipation of possible attacks by the CPP-NPA-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) which is desperate to prove it is still a force to reckon with.
“Kaya inulit natin ang ating babala sa mga kandidado na wag makipagkuntyaba sa CPP-NPA-NDF dahil dahil tinitiyak namin na mananagot kayo kapag nahuli at napatunayan ng inyong PNP na nakipagtulungan kayo sa kanila para lang manalo (So we reiterate our warning to the candidates not to conspire with the CPP-NPA-NDF because we guarantee that you will be held accountable once your PNP finds you cooperating with them just to win),” he said.
Eleazar said the public is now aware of the deception of the communist rebels who continue to pursue their pointless armed struggle.
During the opening and inauguration of Sariaya Bypass Road in Quezon province last week, Duterte said the government is “winning” the war against the communist insurgency in the country.
Duterte, however, acknowledged that the CPP-NPA continues to perpetuate violence by killing soldiers, police, and civilians in the country, but in “a very small scale” this time.
He also said the NTF-ELCAC made great efforts to convince communist rebels to return to the fold of the law, reminding the task force officials to uplift the living conditions of the citizens in the geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas through its Barangay Development Program (BDP).
“This can be done through the provision of the much needed services and public utilities such as improved farm-to-market roads anywhere in the Philippines --‘yan po talaga ang hinihingi ng Pilipino (that’s what the Filipinos are asking for) -- school buildings, especially built in areas where there is a congregation of new settlements,” he said.
He thanked the NTF-ELCAC members for consistently standing up against the communist insurgency in the region.
Duterte also said he is “certain” that the country will eventually be able to stop the decades-old communist insurgency in the country.
In December 2018, Duterte signed Executive Order 70 creating the NTF-ELCAC aimed at putting an end to the treacherous life cycle of the more than five decades of insurgency—his campaign promise.
The CPP-NPA has been declared as a terrorist group by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. (PNA)