Wednesday, December 15, 2010

10 soldiers, 9-year-old boy killed in NPA ambush

Wala pa palang ceasefire nung nangyari yan. ehhh kung hindi pagong etong administration na eto, hindi mangyari yan. Ehh ang tagal na naka-salang for signature yang ceasefire, ehhh pagong ang administration, ayun two days before the effectivity of ceasefire naputukan. Parang hindi yata alam ng Administration na eto na pag mas maaga at mas mahaba ang ceasefire mas nakakabuti.

Atsaka mahirap din kausap ng GRP on ceasefire agreements. Halimbawa sa Mindanao, tingnan mo yang ceasefire ng GRP and MNLF, 1993 pa yan. Simula 1993 up to present, mahigit 30 na ang ceasefire violation ng GRP. Ang MNLF napaka-neat ng record, walang aggression, walang offensive action, pero of course merong strong defense, pag nag-cross ang GRP sa line of course nagkaka-putukan. Etong GRP nag-buo pa ng Abbu Sayaff, pinondohan, para magamit nila pang-gulo sa front, kunwari hinahabol nila para maka-pasok sa MNLF teritories, para ma-justify ang violation nila sa ceasefire.


10 soldiers, 9-year-old boy killed in NPA ambush
By Miriam Desacada (The Philippine Star) Updated December 16, 2010 12:00 AM

TACLOBAN CITY, Philippines - Suspected New People’s Army (NPA) guerrillas killed ten soldiers and a nine-year-old boy in an ambush yesterday afternoon in Northern Samar, in what Philippine National Police (PNP) officials said could be the second deadliest attack against government troops this year.

Reports reaching the Armed Forces Central Command (CENTCOM) said the ambush happened last Tuesday at around 3 p.m. within the boundary of barangays Sta. Fe and Perez.

CENTCOM spokesman Maj. Christopher Tampus said a 12-man squad from the 63rd Infantry Battalion were about to return to their patrol base to observe the holiday ceasefire when they were waylaid by an undetermined number of rebels.

The identities of the ten soldiers were withheld pending notification of their immediate families. Tampus said all of the fatalities are enlisted personnel.

Also killed was a nine-year-old boy named Joven Cabe, who was swimming in the riverbank during the incident. Cabe sustained multiple injuries.

Two badly wounded soldiers survived the attack and are now recuperating at an undisclosed hospital in the province.

They were identified as Cpl. Ricardo Cabral and Pfc. Heder Pavillon.

“Both (Pavillon and Cabral) have survived the ambush and are presently confined at the Catubig District Hospital. They are said to be in stable condition,” Tampus said.

CENTCOM Commander Lt. Gen. Ralph Villanueva called the ambush “an act of treachery” by the NPA.

“We are preparing for the ceasefire. They (troops) are going back to defensive mode but the rebels took advantage of that. It was really unfortunate,” Villanueva said.

“This is a very unfortunate event especially this Christmas season. This is the sacrifice that our soldiers take in pursuit of peace in the Visayas,” he added.

Despite the incident, Villanueva said his troops will continue to adhere to the holiday truce, which will begin today until Jan. 3.

The Army’s 8th Division, which supervises military operations in Samar, said the ambush proves that the National Democratic Front (NDF) is not sincere in holding peace talks with the government.

“NDF demand for peace talk is a mere ploy to advance their offensives against the government... The rebels used destructive improvised mines to assure the fatality of the troops,” said Lt. Col. Noel Vestuir, spokesman of the 8th Division.

“It only shows their true intention why peace talks is once again brought out of the picture,” he added.

Tampus said three companies of soldiers have been mobilized to secure the area while authorities are conducting investigations.

The NPA rebels seized 12 high-powered firearms and a radio from the ambushed troops, stripped their victims of clothes and other personal belongings before fleeing towards the northern part of the province.

Wanted: Long and lasting peace

Meanwhile, government peace panel chairman Alexander Padilla said yesterday that the Aquino administration is eyeing to forge a final peace agreement with the NDF within three years.

Padilla said the government is bent on finding a political settlement with the communist group along with its armed group the NPA and its underground political organization, the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).

“We hope that everything will be finished in three years because we want the administration to implement the settlement,” he said, adding that the 41-year-old armed struggle being waged by the CPP-NPA-NDF is the “longest protracted insurgency” in the whole world.

“These negotiations have been going on for so long. If we cannot have an agreement in this administration, we might find it hard to have it in the next,” Padilla said, referring to the difference between the Aquino administration and the previous administration’s strategies in solving the insurgency problem.

“The previous administration tried to eliminate the NPA in three years’ time but did not succeed because they used military means,” he said, emphasizing that the current administration believes that government cannot end the rebellion through a military solution.

“We have not seen anybody who have won through military means, that is why we need a political solution. We really need to talk,” Padilla said.

He said the NDF cannot also win their war through the same approach.

“Communism as a political ideology is outdated. Political conflicts today are not about ideologies. Issues of conflict are now on climate change, resources, among others,” Padilla said.

The government and the NDF have agreed to observe a Christmas ceasefire starting Dec. 16 up to Jan. 3, 2011 following an informal chair-to-chair meeting in Hong Kong two weeks ago.

Padilla and panel member Pablito Sanidad met with NDF chair Luis Jalandoni, Consuelo Ledesma and their lawyer with no pre-set agenda.

Both parties have likewise agreed to conduct another round of informal talks in January and resume formal peace negotiations in February next year. – With Alexis Romero, Jose Rodel Clapano