BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines – Army Major General Benedict Arevalo who commands thousands of soldiers in the region twitted Communist rebels here who are crying foul over the use of airstrikes in combat, likening them to a boxer who wants to change the rules in the middle of a fistfight.
“It’s like telling your opponent who you dared to box: ‘it’s unfair, let’s not use fists’ as you are being beaten black and blue,” Arevalo told DNX in response to statements being issued by units of the New People’s Army and ranking cadres of the Communist Party of the Philippines who are deploring the “scheduled” use of airstrikes in Calatrava, a northern town in Negros Occidental.
The latest rebel official, Marco Valbuena, styled by the CPP as its chief information officer, said the Department of Environment and Natural Resources has forbidden the use of airstrikes in the forests of Calatrava covered by the protected Northern Negros Mountain Range.
Valbuena was quoted by some local news outlets (not DNX) last week although it was not made clear where the supposed airstrike plan really came from.
Too, Valbuena did not mention any official of the DENR.
Arevalo said “doctrine requires the use of airstrikes and if the rebels cannot understand or are afraid of that, they can choose to not fight or surrender of they want.”
He said the military concept requires that maximum firepower “be delivered against our enemies.”
While he did not elaborate about the concept, a resource page of Fort Benning, an infantry training school in the United States, pointed out the use of Army aviation is part of combined arms operations to, among others, defeat enemy ground forces.
Arevalo likened the rebels to a person who dares someone to a boxing match and, while being beaten black and blue, wants to change the rules of the game “and tells his opponent: ‘let’s not use fists.'”
The Army officer, however, who used to command the 303rd Brigade in the island, said what the NPA is doing now is “mostly propaganda” and shows their desperation that indicates their forces in Calatrava town is part of their dwindling number of fighters trying to stave off eventual defeat.