The Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) will be celebrating its 50th founding anniversary on Wednesday, December 26. In response the Philippine Army (PA) has intensified its operations and enhanced its security measures in order to prevent any possible hostile action from the violent rebel group.
“The PA with its entire operational and tactical units have already stepped up its security measures to prevent and contain further possible enemy hostile actions,” Lt. Col. Louie Villanueva, Army spokesperson, told reporters on Tueday, December 25.
The NPA, the armed wing group of the leftist organization, is listed as a terrorist organization by both the United States and the European Union. Their activity in the Philippines, particularly in provinces like Bicol and Samar, have prompted intensified military operations within the past months.
“Despite these unfortunate events wherein some of our peace defenders got wounded, while some offered their lives, the Army remains steadfast and determined to continue its task of securing and providing tranquility so that the people will feel and enjoy the spirit of Christmas season,” he said.
The CPP-NPA earlier this month declared a “holiday ceasefire”, which the AFP did not acknowledge. According to Villanueva, the group typically celebrates their anniversary with acts of violence which he described as “in contrast the peace agenda that they are trying to sell to the government and the people”.
“The series of violent incidents perpetrated by CTs (communist terrorists) are clear manifestations of their insincerity about the peace process and clear disregard to the welfare of the people. Instead of contributing to serenity to give way for the Christmas celebration, which every Filipinos dearly cherish and awaits, in contrast their offerings are malevolent,” he added
Villanueva also said that despite the tension between the AFP and NPA, the door remains open for those who wish to surrender their arms and return to normal society.