No guid­ance yet on Duterte’s ‘spar­row units’

Sun Star Bacolod - - Top Stories - BY GLAZYL Y. MASCULINO

AN army of­fi­cial in Ne­gros Oc­ci­den­tal said they have yet to re­ceive a guid­ance from their higher com­mand fol­low­ing the state­ment of Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte that he will form a “spar­row unit” that will as­sas­si­nate the New Peo­ple’s Army (NPA), the armed wing of the com- mu­nists.

Colonel Bene­dict Arevalo, com­mand­ing of­fi­cer of the 303rd In­fantry Brigade based in Mur­cia town, in a text mes­sage yes­ter­day, said he heard about the Pres­i­dent’s pro­nounce­ment but there are no for­mal or­ders yet.

“Let me as­sure the peo­ple of Ne­gros Oc­ci­den­tal that there’s noth­ing to worry about be­cause we will still con­tinue our fight against the NPAS to end their vi­o­lence and ex­tor­tion ac­tiv­i­ties guided by the rules of en­gage­ment,” Arevalo said. “We will fol­low the rules.”

Arevalo added: “if there is one group which should be wor­ried, it should be the NPA ter­ror­ists, not the peace-lov­ing and lawabid­ing cit­i­zens of Ne­gros.”

Mean­while, the Septem­ber 21 move­ment, in a press state­ment, said the pro­nounce­ment of Duterte is not only con­demnable but war­rants in-depth scru­tiny.

He just af­firmed that in­deed death squads ex­ist and act upon or­ders within the army or the po­lice as in­sti­tu­tions and the cases of ex­tra­ju­di­cial killings were per­pe­trated by these death squads, the group said.

It is un­for­tu­nate that such state­ment was made by the high­est of­fi­cial and his state­ment can be con­sid­ered as an im­pri­matur to more ex­tra­ju­di­cial cases and em­bold­ens the army and po­lice to create fears and wants blind­folded sub­mis­sion to his whims and caprices, they also said.

“We call on free­domlov­ing Ne­grenses to coura­geously re­sist state-spon­sored killings and stop his dan­ger­ous plans,” they said.

Duterte, in a speech de­liv­ered in Car­men, Bo­hol, ex­pressed his in­tent to form his own “spar­row,” also known as the Spe­cial Par­ti­san Unit (Sparu), is the NPA’S ur­ban hit squad, that will “as­sas­si­nate” the NPA, armed wing of the com­mu­nists.

Ad­mit­ting that the Philip­pine troops could be eas­ily de­feated by the NPA’S Spar­row unit, the Com­man­der-in-chief said he would create a body that would be called “Duterte Death Squad Against the Spar­row” to match the com­mu­nist in­sur­gents’ fight­ing skills.

“I’m try­ing to make peace with them, ayaw nila. Ta­pos pinag­pa­p­atay ‘yung mga pulis pati sun­dalo ko. So ngayon, ang ku­lang talaga, ‘yung mga Spar­row ko din. Diyan lang sila nakakala­mang. So mag-create ako Spar­row - Duterte Death Squad against the Spar­row,” he said.*

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