The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) assured it will commit all of its resources in going after communist rebels behind the anti-personnel mine attack that killed six soldiers and wounded at least 20 others in Borongan City, Eastern Samar.
“We commit to run after the perpetrators of this treacherous affront on our troops out to protect our peoples’ democratic way of life and make those criminals pay for their actions,” said AFP spokesperson, Marine Brigadier General Edgard Arevalo in a message to reporters.
Arevalo added that Communist Party of the Philippines founder Jose Ma. Sison’s remarks praising this abominable act of the New People’s Army only indicates his unity in design with these terrorists.
“It’s not surprising at all that he relishes in death and destruction. He was himself indicted for multiple murder and warrants of arrest were issued therefor for his involvement in the Inopacan Massacre,” Arevalo said.
Arevalo said the military will not be cowered by the incident.
“We will press on with our pursuit to eliminate the CTG (communist terrorist group before the end of the Duterte administration. This cowardly attack by these enemies of peace and development hardly establishes any point of strength. But rather a weakness in attacking through anti-personnel mines soldiers out to aid our people needing help,” he said.
Arevalo said AFP chief-of-staff, General Noel Clement, has expressed his and the entire organization’s condolences to the bereaved family of soldiers killed by the anti-personnel mines planted by the NPA.
“General Clement also directed the delivery of all benefits and assistance to the widows and orphans of the victims as well as to the soldiers wounded-in-action,” he added.
Stressing that the AFP is aware that casualties are inevitable and the “fogs of war” are realities in the battlefield, Arevalo said Clement has nonetheless directed ground commanders to be more prudent and circumspect in the conduct of its security campaigns.
“The NPAs, in their hopeless bid to project strength, will resort to all sorts of means, methods, and forms to inflict casualty on state security forces —even the ones who were merely responding to distress calls— like these soldiers who were waylaid after heeding request for help from folks being harassed by communist terrorists,” he added.
The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. (PNA)