Military hapless in NPA attacks

The Mindanao Examiner Regional Newspaper - - First Page - (Mindanao Examiner)

DAVAO CITY – Security forces are helpless against deadly attacks by the communist rebel group New People’s Army following a recent ambush that killed a government militia in Davao del Norte province.

Rebel forces ambushed last week a group of militias and seriously wounding 4 others also.

Officials said the attack in Kapalong town occurred two days after President Rodrigo Duterte declared a unilateral cease-fire with the NPA. The militias – members of the Citizens Armed Forces Geographical Unit were under the control of the army’s 72nd Infantry Battalion.

There was no immediate statement from the NPA on the ambush, but more attacks are expected against security forces because the rebels have not reciprocated Duterte cease-fire, although the insurgents welcomed the president’s gesture ahead of a scheduled peace talks in Oslo, Norway which was moved from July to August.

The cease-fire prevented troops from pursuing or launching an assault on the NPA, which has been fighting for decades now for the establishment of a Maoist state in the country.

Duterte announced the cease-fire during his state of the nation address on July 25. He said the cease-fire with the rebels is to “immediately stop violence on the ground, restore peace in the communities, and provide enabling environment conducive to the resumption of the peace talks.”

He also urged the rebels to end the decades of ambuscades and skirmishes and describing them to be “getting bloodier by the day.”

“Let me make this appeal to you, if we cannot accept, love one another, then in God's name, let us not hate each other too much,” Duterte said as he called on the rebels to reciprocate accordingly and declare a truce with the government.

Presidential peace adviser Jesus Dureza said the resumption of the talks is expected to begin on August 20 with Norway brokering the negotiations.

Duterte earlier ordered the Department of Justice and Department of Foreign Affairs to do everything within its power and authority to temporarily release from prison some communist personalities who will travel and participate in the Oslo talks.

Press conference of the National Democratic Front in Davao City.

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