New People’s Army
Regional Operations Command
Southern Mindanao Region
Press Statement | February 26, 2017
The Regional Operations Command of the New People’s Army in Southern Mindanao reciprocates the gesture made by GRP Davao City Mayor Sara Z. Duterte by suspending for a few hours the NPA operations and ordering any NPA camp in NDF territories in Davao City and nearby areas to host the talks with her at a mutually agreed time and date.
The NPA would gladly discuss any matter that she would like to take up with the revolutionary movement, the duties and responsibilities of the people’s democratic government, the role of the NPA, the on-going all-out war of the AFP and the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations.
The talks is auspicious in the light of the series of punitive tactical offensives of the 1st Pulang Bagani Battalion-NPA launched last February 16 when the AFP’s 3rd IB and 72nd IB CAFGU were hit three times in Paquibato and Calinan districts that killed at least 12 and wounded more than 20 of their troops. More AFP troops were again hit by NPA attritive offensives in Toril and Paquibato districts on February 21 and 22.
The revolutionary forces recognize Sara Duterte’s willingness to talk to the NPA as a group and not to individuals amid the growing public clamor to resume the suspended GRP-NDFP peace negotiations and achieve substantial gains in the peace process.
The NPA in the region, however, finds it ominous that as per the GRP Presidential daughter’s stern warning that should the NPA decline her gesture, a viable alternative would be to “leave it everything to the AFP…” Mayor Sara must know by now that the AFP is a corrupt, wily and mercenary organization that makes a mockery of the peace process and continuously sabotages her father’s and the NDFP’s efforts at peace every chance it gets.
Furthermore, we are optimistic that Mayor Sara would judiciously discern the realities of the civil war, not merely through the statistics of AFP casualties and its civilian victims but by seeing the imperative to address the roots of the armed conflict. Certainly, the heavy burden being borne every single day by Filipinos because of the continued exploitation of the oligarchs and US imperialism prods the masses and the revolutionary forces to wage and advance the people’s war.
The NPA in Southern Mindanao is looking forward to a substantial discussion with Mayor Duterte on the common ground of advancing the welfare of the masses, especially in Davao City. In the same manner that she expresses her willingness to meet for the sake of peace, the NPA advances the people’s war and adheres to the victories of the negotiations to ensure that peace will be just and lasting.
RIGOBERTO F. SANCHEZ
Regional Operations Command