Military hits back at rebels
Marchel P. Espina (The Freeman) - December 31, 2015 - 9:00am

BACOLOD CITY, Philippines — The Philippine Army here assailed the communist rebels for claiming that the declaration of Negros Occidental as “peaceful and ready for development” province was just an “illusion.”

Colonel Francisco Delfin, commander of the 303rd Infantry Brigade, said: “Peaceful and ready for development was the aspiration and commitment of the people in Negros. Whether they (rebels) are there or not, the people want peace.”

Delfin said the statement of the rebels only reflected what kind of organization they have.

The Communist Party of the Philippines, the National Democratic Front and the New People’s Army issued separate statements on December 26, during the 47th founding anniversary of the CPP, and slammed the government for claiming that the rebels have weakened their forces here.

In Negros Island, it was the CPP’s leadership and strong guidance that the revolutionary forces here was able to stand firm and unswerving in the face of an enemy so many times stronger, said the Apolinario Gatmaitan Command of the NPA.

Although the NPA and other revolutionary forces suffered difficulties and sacrifices in the face of the military that was several times stronger, the guerilla front was not demolished and NPA units were not wiped out, the statement said.

The rebels assailed Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. and the military, who they said were “harboring illusions that they have already defeated the revolutionary forces in the Island and that what remains are remnants of the NPA.”

“They declared Negros to be insurgency manageable and development ready. But they continue to call on the revolutionary forces to surrender and capitulate and avail of the amnesty and livelihood programs that they are offering,” the statement added.

The rebels said the call to surrender and capitulation of the revolutionary forces will not solve the centuries-old problems of the exploited and oppressed masses of Negros Island if the government will not address the roots of the armed conflict.

The rebels vowed to pursue the people’s democratic revolution through protracted attacks. (FREEMAN)

ACIRC APOLINARIO GATMAITAN COMMAND COLONEL FRANCISCO DELFIN COMMUNIST PARTY OF THE PHILIPPINES GOVERNOR ALFREDO MARA IN NEGROS ISLAND INFANTRY BRIGADE NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC FRONT AND THE NEW PEOPLE NEGROS ISLAND NEGROS OCCIDENTAL PHILIPPINE ARMY
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