by Philippine News Agency
The recent New People’s Army (NPA) attacks on Ifugao and Camarines Norte which have claimed the lives of 15 soldiers and two civilians demonstrated anew the rebel group’s blatant disregard for human life, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesperson Col. Arnulfo Burgos Jr., said on Wednesday.
“We do not think of the recent incidents as setbacks to the AFP but rather an embarrassment on the part of the NPAs who continuously and grossly violate the rule of law and totally disregard human rights and international humanitarian law,” he emphasized.
Burgos also added that these series of treacherous attacks only show the desperation of the communists in persuading civilians and other sectors to join them in their almost dormant movement.
The AFP spokesperson stressed that these series of unprovoked attacks are clear violation of Republic Act 9851 (also known as Philippine Act on Crimes Against International Humanitarian Law, Genocide, and Other Crimes Against Humanity) that protects innocent civilians from violence during armed conflict and the Comprehensive Agreement on the Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law to which the NPA are also signatories.
Burgos added that the NPA attacks on a Philippine Army truck convoy in Tinoc, Ifugao last April 25 which killed 11 soldiers and one civilian and the one on Maot, Lobo, Camarines Norte last April 29 which killed four soldiers and another civilian is no reflection on the AFP’s Internal Peace Security Plan (IPSP) “Bayanihan” which is only on its second year of implementation.
“Based on our latest assessment of the IPSP “Bayanihan” which is only on the second year of its implementation, it is very effective and has made significant headway as far as ending insurgency is concerned. IPSP “Bayanihan” is still the ultimate tool in addressing and solving insurgency in the country,” he added.
Burgos also expressed confidence that the AFP will be able to win the war against insurgency by 2016, adding that the military has remained steadfast in its sworn duty and will continue to fight for peace no matter what the cost is.