^

As CPP anniversary nears, AFP renews call to abandon arms

Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) - December 25, 2014 - 5:13pm

MANILA, Philippines — On the eve of the 46th anniversary of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), the military reiterated its call for rebels to abandon the armed struggle and to live peaceful lives with their families.

Armed Forces public affairs chief Lt. Col. Harold Cabunoc stressed that violence would not put an end to the country's problems.

"It has been proven that nobody is a real winner in bloody armed conflicts. We are witnesses to the endless misery experienced by our own people who were caught in the crossfire," Cabunoc said in a statement Thursday.

"We can have the choice between a better life for ourselves and our children by embracing peace or continued violence and poverty through bloody armed conflict," he added.

Cabunoc said the "door for reconciliation and healing remains open" to all rebels, whom he described as "misguided brothers."

In the same statement, the military slammed the New People's Army (NPA), the armed wing of the CPP, for committing atrocities against civilians last year.

Cabunoc said these atrocities include the attack on civilian ambulances in Davao del Sur and Agusan del Sur, the hostage-taking incident in Compostela Valley, and a grenade attack in Masbate.

"The senseless attacks perpetrated by the NPA against peaceful communities and infrastructure projects have caused more suffering and denied the people of development in the countryside," Cabunoc said.

RELATED: Study: NPA is largest group behind terrorist attacks in Philippines

"We must reflect why we have allowed ourselves and our communities to endure forty six years of bloody violence and senseless deaths among fellow Filipinos," he added.

The military has pegged the strength of the communist movement at around 4,000 as of the end of September, virtually unchanged in the last four years.

There has been no significant reduction in the number of communist fighters despite the military's previous claims that insurgency is weakening.

As early as 2010, security officials have been saying that the number of communist rebels has decreased to about 4,000 from a peak of 25,000 in 1987.

They credited the supposed decline to combat operations, the internal conflict among rebels, and development programs that discouraged local residents from joining the armed struggle.

Peace talks with the National Democratic Front (NDF) were stalled last year after government negotiators rejected a demand to free communist leaders with pending criminal cases.

NDF, which represents the CPP and the NPA in the negotiations, claimed that the detained communist leaders are "peace consultants" and should be immune from arrest.

ARMED ARMED FORCES CABUNOC COMMUNIST COMMUNIST PARTY OF THE PHILIPPINES COMPOSTELA VALLEY HAROLD CABUNOC NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC FRONT NEW PEOPLE SUR AND AGUSAN
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

FORGOT PASSWORD?
SIGN IN
or sign in with