Rebels killed in Rizal confirmed by authorities as assassins

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) confirmed Tuesday that the five CPP-NPA-NDF (Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front) members killed in a shootout in Rizal last month were part of the NPA death squads deployed in Southern Luzon on orders of CPP founder Joma Sison.

DILG Secretary Eduardo Año
DILG Secretary Eduardo Año (PCOO / MANILA BULLETIN)

In a statement, the DILG noted that the fatalities were tapped to “assassinate top national and local government leaders and police and military officers over blood debts.’’

“We can now confirm that the five NPA members killed in Barangay San Juan, Baras, Rizal were part of a death squad that was supposed to carry out the directive of Joma Sison to assassinate government and civilian leaders,” said DILG Secretary Eduardo M. Año.

The DILG said that Año is one of the targets of the NPA.

“Isang tagumpay para sa atin na napigilan ang mga ganitong mga operasyon ng NPA lalo pa’t ito’y isang tuwirang pagbabanta sa buhay ng mga pinuno ng bansa at maging ng mga sibilyan (it is a sucess on our part to thwart these NPA operations especially that this is a direct threat to the lives of the country’s leaders and also of the civilians),’’ Año said.

The DILG bared that Sison recently released an order from his self-imposed exile in the Netherlands to its armed wing, the NPA, to deploy so-called armed partisan units and special operations groups to cities, and major town centers “to carry out attacks against government forces and to mete out punishment against enemy units and officers who have committed bloody crimes against the people.”

This was confirmed by CPP Central Committee Information Officer alias Marcos Valduena who said that “there is a standing order for the NPA to form partisan teams to meet out punishment against enemy units and officers who have committed bloody crimes against the people.”

Año noted that the deployment of the NPA Death Squads to urban areas intends to bring the NPA’s reign of terror in the countryside to the cities.

“The PNP (Philippine National Police (PNP) and AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) will do its utmost to protect the people from these terrorists in sheep’s clothing. We will crush these urban terrorist cells before they can begin their reign of terror,” he added.

He urged the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) and the Makabayan Bloc to condemn the deployment of NPA death squads in urban areas to prove that they are truly not members or fronts of the Communist Party.

Año stressed that assassinations perpetrated by the NPA Death Squads are clearly extra-judicial killing (EJKs) which the CPP is now bringing to the urban areas after decades of perfecting armed terrorism in the mountains.

He added that among those neutralized were a woman known as alias Sandra, a Rebolusyonaryong Buwis sa Kaaway na Uri (RBKU) staff and wife of alias Luis, Secretary of Guerilla Front Cesar; and an alias Onli, regional intelligence officer who were actively generating funds for the communist terrorist group (CTG) through extortion and harassment of innocent civilians.
Año claimed that the initial plan of the NPA assassination unit was to establish a terrorist cell in Rizal which will house their Southern Luzon operations, a location that will bring them close to Metro Manila to carry out the orders of Sison.

He said that CPP’s deployment of NPA death squads is a major escalation in the terrorism program of the CTGs and is clear and convincing proof that the Anti-Terrorism Council (ATC) did the right thing in designating CPP and NPA as "terrorist organizations".

Año also said Sison’s statement during the CPP’s 52nd anniversary in December ordering the return of NPA death squads is “a feeble attempt to turn the tide against the government now that the communist movement is losing mass support in its base of operations.’’

In addition to Sison’s pronouncement, Año said the NDF’s International Information Office’s commentary published on the CPP’s website stating "the conditions are ripe for the return of armed city partisans is a masquerade of the NPA's plan to mount urban terrorism and assassinations to compensate for its continuing losses and setbacks in the countryside.’’

“This latest move of Joma Sison is a desperate move driven by the fact that they are losing their ground. Higit sa lahat, ito ay excuse lamang para lalo silang makapanggulo (Most of all, it is only an excuse for them to create terror) in their pathetic attempt to overthrow one of the most popular governments in the world,” Año maintained.

In the 1980s, the DILG noted that the CPP-NPA-NDF first deployed its “sparrow units” in urban centers and murdered hundreds of policemen, military officers, and civilians in Metro Manila, Cebu, Davao, Iloilo and other areas to speed up its protracted people’s war, sow chaos, and bring down the government.

Shootout in Rizal

Año disclosed that the NPA members killed in a shootout with the AFP and PNP in Baras, Rizal last December 17, 2020 were responsible for various extortion and terroristic activities victimizing local government officials, businessmen, and ordinary individuals.

According to the report, the PNP and the AFP were on their way to issue a warrant of arrest for frustrated murder to alias Dads/Darwin, head of the finance staff and Execom member of NPA’s Sub-Regional Military Area 4A, when the CTGs opened fire leading to a crossfire between the two parties in Sitio Malalim, San Juan, Baras, Rizal.

As the gunshots died down, five bodies from the side of the NPA were spotted including alias Sandra, wife of alias Luis, Secretary of Guerilla Front Cesar, and concurrently designated as SRMA 4A's RBKU staff and alias Onli, the terrorist group's Intelligence Officer.

Three NPA members who were killed in the said incident are still being identified according to the AFP.

Recovered in the scene were two M16 rifles; two cal .45 pistols; one Uzi and several electronic devices and subversive documents.