BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines – Guerrila fighters of the New People’s Army attacked a CAFGU Active Auxiliary patrol base in barangay Sandayao, Guihulngan, Negros Oriental at about 9 p.m. of 19 March, a press release furnished to DNX said.
Major General Eric Vinoya, the Commander of the Army’s 3rd Infantry (Spearhead) Division condemned “in the strongest possible terms” for firing their guns “against the government troops who are busy helping Negrenses” battle COVID-19.
The press release said an “undetermined number” of rebel fighters fired their guns towards a CAFGU base in the village of Sandayao. The assault lasted two minutes. No casualties from the government side were reported.
The press release also noted that the attack happened after President Duterte declared a unilateral ceasefire against the CPP-NPA-NDF beginning 19 March, until 15 April.
The ceasefire was meant to help government forces focus their attention towards “securing the general public’s health and welfare of the people” as a pandemic is underway.
“How can these communist-terrorists who always boastfully claim that they are the defenders of the masses commit such inhumane act especially in times like this where our country is facing health crisis?” the press release said.
Instead of helping those in the frontlines, they opted instead to conduct offensive action against government, the military added.
“It is a public knowledge that most of our troops were deployed to conduct monitoring and border regulations to contain the spread of the disease, hence, they took advantage of the situation, but they failed to do so,” Vinoya said.
Calling the rebels, particularly the Leonardo Panaligan Command which was responsible for the attack, “minions of evil”, Vinoya said the NPA merely revealed its true colors.
Still, Vinoya called on the Negrenses especially the remaining members of the CPP-NPA in Negros Island to set aside all differences and conflicts for the common good even only during this tough time.
“If you can’t extend help to those working in the frontlines, just discontinue all of your insignificant activities; by doing this you can help prevent the spread of the virus,” the Army Commander added.