DND chief says no security threat for Holy Week

By Dennis D. Estopace, Reporter
BusinessMirror newspaper
March 26 for March 27, 2013

THE Department of National Defense (DND) has so far hasn’t receive reports of threats from the New People’s Army as the guerilla movement enters its 44th year on Good Friday.

“So far, we haven’t receive anything yet but we expect the NPA to do something because they crave attention,” DND Secretary Voltaire T. Gazmin said.

The armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), the NPA was formed on March 29, 1969, and considered to be Asia’s longest-running insurgency movement.

Gazmin said the expected NPA attack could also stem from the stalled peace talks.

“That’s why they’re going to do something to be noticed.”

Gazmin said that “while the Philippine government has been very sincere in the peace talks, it hasn’t been seen from their side.”

“How can we arrive at an agreement when they’re wishy-washy: today they’re okay; tomorrow, they’re not. Their position’s not clear.”

He added that the CPP-NPA is also asking too many things in return.

“Many of those we arrested they wanted to include in the list of people authorized [to be representatives in the peace talks]. But that can’t be because we have laws and these people were arrested because they have standing warrants of arrest.”

Gazmin added that if the CPP-NPA really wants the peace talks to resume, “there should be no conditions, like what they are demanding for the release of Police Officer 3 Ruben Magno Nojapa Jr.

“For example, in that case, they want a ceasefire before they release Nojapa. But if they reall want to release him, they can do so any time, whether there’s a ceasefire or not.”

The National Democratic Front on its website PhilippineRevolution Web Central said that it “enjoins” the 10th Infantry Division of the Armed Forces of the Philippines “to cease its offensive military operations in Compostela Valley to pave the safe, orderly and expeditious release” of Nojapa.

The NDF said they consider Nojapa a prisoner of war.

Last year, armed encounters and surrender of NPA guerillas marked the insurgent movement’s anniversary.


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