DUTERTE: End NPA threat once and for all
The military and the police on Wednesday vowed to undertake relentless efforts in compliance with President Rodrigo Duterte’s order to wage an all-out war against the communist terrorist group New People’s Army (NPA).
AFP, PNP IN ALL-OUT WAR VS. NPA
“We are engaging the New People’s Army all out — employing and utilizing all its resources in a focused, surgical, and deliberate lethal and non-lethal operations towards the decisive defeat of the communist terrorists,” Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesperson Marine Brig. Gen. Edgard Arevalo said in a message to reporters.
He said the AFP is compliant with the directive of the President and the commander-in-chief, who is calling for military and other government agencies to decisively end the NPA threat once and for all.
“The very radical change in government behavior that the President could be referring to is the more potent, deliberate, and concerted action of all agencies of government including the AFP in a whole-of-government manner,” Arevalo added.
Meanwhile, Philippine National Police (PNP) spokesperson Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac said the order of the President to end the local communist armed conflict will be firm and decisive under the guidance and direction of the national leadership.
“The PNP is honored to play a crucial role in this national undertaking to finally deliver the blessings of sustainable peace, stability and progress to all communities,” Banac told reporters when sought for a comment.
He said police operations against the armed components of the communist terrorist movement will be swift and relentless, just as it will be lawful and judicious.
“Every Filipino deserves to live a comfortable life, free from threats of terrorism, violence and oppression,” Banac said.
Maute Group terrorists killed in the Marawi City fighting, now on its 61st day, stands at 428 as of 2 p.m. Saturday.
The number of military personnel killed in the ongoing efforts to clear the city of remaining Maute Group terrorists is 105, said Forces of the Philippines (AFP) public affairs office chief Col. Edgard Arevalo.
The lawless elements executed 45 civilians while government troopers recovered 526 Maute weapons and rescued 1,723 hostages.
Fighting in Marawi City started last May 23 when goverment troops tried to arrest Abu Sayyaf leader and ISIS “emir” in Southeast Asia, Isnilon Hapilon. (Priam F. Nepomuceno/PNA)
“The AFP has greatly diminished the number of the terrorists. So far 191 were confirmed dead while undetermined number of them killed were being validated,” AFP public affairs office chief Col. Edgard Arevalo said.
A total of 158 firearms were also seized in the ongoing operations, he added.
Government losses as of Saturday stands at 58 troops with 20 civilians executed by the terrorists.
“However, the recalcitrant remnants of the Maute-ISIS continue their stiff resistance while holed in fortified buildings and structures,” Arevalo pointed out.
Using these defensive positions, the terrorists are using sniper fires, mortar fire, anti-tank rounds, and improvised explosive devices to kill anyone — government security forces, relief and rescue workers, and civilians — who get in the way of their fanatical desire to dismember Marawi from the Philippines and establish it as a “Wilayat” or an ISIS province in this part of Asia, the military official said.
“Your AFP and PNP will continue to break the heavy resistance of and clear Marawi from the Maute-ISIS group, restore normalcy in the city, and make way for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of Marawi,” he added.
And to be able to fulfill that mission, Arevalo said that there is need to use armor, artillery and air power assets to breach the terrorists stronghold and their underground fortresses.
“This has since become a fight not only of your security forces, but also of every peace-loving Filipino deserving of a peaceful and progressive nation,” he pointed out.
“This war is between good and evil. Everyone needs everybody to stand up, unite, fight against, and repulse the onslaught of the forces of evil attempting to establish foothold in our land. We would not and should not surrender even an inch of our soil to the harbingers of doom and perfidy,” Arevalo concluded. (PRIAM F. NEPOMUCENO/PNA)
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