Soldiers ready vs. hit squads

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The Army’s 3rd Infantry Division yesterday confirmed plans by the New People’s Army to revive its urban hit squads but stressed that government forces are bracing for possible rebel offensives.

Army Major Cenon Pancito III made the disclosure, citing an earlier announcement made by Communist Party of the Philippines spokesperson Marco Valbuena.

Pancito, spokesman of the Philippine Army’s 3rd ID, said assassination is illegal and is a violation of the “Law on Armed Conflict”.

Photo from the Philippine Army facebook account showing Commanding General Lt. Gen Cirilito Sobejana with Philippine Marine Corps Acting Commandant Maj. Gen. Ariel Caculitan.

Valbuena, in a statement, said that “there is a standing order for the NPA to form partisan teams to mete out punishment against enemy units and officers who have committed bloody crimes against the people.”

Such tactic of the NPA shows how barbaric the “enemies of the state” are, Pancito said.

At the height of the insurgency problem in Negros island in the late 1980s, NPA hit squads carried out assassination activities in Bacolod City and neighboring areas, killing policemen, soldiers and civilians with alleged blood debts.

While they have been crying for justice, they (NPA rebels) are the gross violators of the very clamor that they been trying to demand (from authorities), Pancito claimed.

Let us not forget the testimonies Ka Joross, a former NPA assassin assigned in Negros who surrendered to the government, the Army official said.

He said Ka Joross recounted how they were directed by the NPA to carry out killings of government troops, or even their very own comrades in efforts to project that there is chaos in Negros.

We will make sure that the rebels will not succeed again, Pancito said, further claiming that the same NPA tactic had failed in the past. – GB