BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines – The recent clash between government forces and rebels that left two suspected armed partisans dead indicates that Reds here are on a deficit in all fronts and are trying to save face amid a series of battlefield losses to the Armed Forces last year.
Friday night, the Army reported the death of two suspected rebels following a clash between a squad of the New People’s Army and a unit of soldiers in the upland sub-village of Agpapatao in Binobohan village.
“They are trying to save face, trying to show they are still a force to reckon with because they have already weakened significantly,” Maj. Cenon Pancito III told DNX over the weekend as soldiers continued to scour areas surrounding the encounter site for rebels who fled after a firefight that lasted minutes.
The Army identified the two slain rebels as Randy Canumay and Edgar Bonifacio, both living in the encounter site.
It also said the two are allegedly members of the Special Partisan Unit (SPARU) of the NPA.
They were once called “sparrows” after the birds that were quick in darting in and out, like their execution style.
Public and lethal, striking like from out of nowhere and gone as quickly as they came.
They are described by the NPA as those who carry out the decisions of the “people’s courts” or the wishes of the Communist Party of the Philippines.
Soldiers seized several pistols chambered for. 45 caliber and 9mm.
“We believe they are urban partisans,” Pancito said.
With the milling season in full swing and as money starts to flow into the local economy still largely dependent on the sugar industry, Pancito believes the rebel movement wants to make its presence felt.
And project a sense of strength.
He said a projection of strength is important to the “extortion” activities of the NPA.
These activities include getting money from sugarcane planters. Those who pay will not have their sugarcanes torched, those who refuse will see their precious matured canes go up in smoke.
Money blown away by the wind.
The Communists call it “revolutionary tax,” a lien imposed on the elite “to be used for the masses.”
How the people benefit from it exactly no one knows for sure.