By Mike Crismundo
CAMP BANCASI, Butuan City – The area command of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Thursday lambasted the Communist New People’s Army terrorists (CNTs) for violating the basic people’s right and their self-declared ceasefire when they harassed the Sinacungan CAFGU Patrol Base in Barangay Sinacungan, Esperanza town, Agusan del Sur province on Monday (May 14).
The harassment contradicts the statement of Ariel Montero, spokesperson of NEMRC released last Sunday stating that they (CNTs) will suspend all tactical offensives against government forces in Caraga and Southern Mindanao regions on May 14-18, 2018 in deference to the basic people’s right to vote freely during the Barangay and SK Elections, said Brig. Gen. Franco Nemesio M. Gacal, commanding officer of the Army’s 402nd Infantry (Stingers) Brigade based here.
“The NPA terrorists’ statements regarding suspension of tactical offensives cannot be trusted. Either the CPP, NPA, and NDF are not coordinating or their ground commanders are not obeying the directives of their higher organization. Either case, theirs is an organization that is headless and useless,” he said.
“The NPA terrorists once again proved that they are not capable of respecting their own declaration of “ceasefire,” claimed the 402nd Brigade commander.
However, despite their failed harassment of the Sinacungan CAFGU Patrol Base, operating troops of the 402nd Brigade managed to push them back to the mountains and the voting by citizens on May 14 polls continued, he added.
Generally, the Barangay and SK Elections (BSKE) 2018 were orderly, peacefully and successfully exercised in 402nd Infantry (Stingers) Brigade’s area of responsibility despite CNTs’ harassment.
The deployment of 1,417 Army soldiers to secure the 869 voting centers and the activation of 402nd Brigade Election Monitoring Action Center (EMAC) here contributed to the implementation of Comprehensive and Integrated Inter-Agency Security Plan of COMELEC-AFP and PNP, it said.