The government has condemned the recent attack of New People’s Army (NPA) rebels at a police station in Maasin, Iloilo on Sunday morning, June 18.
“It is disheartening to note that such attacks provide a negative impact in our mutual commitment with the NDF (National Democratic Front) to provide that enabling environment conducive to the continuation of peace negotiations with them,” said Peace Process Adviser Jesus Dureza in a statement on Monday, June 19.
Police said around 40 rebels raided a police station in Maasin town and took 12 firearms, including high-powered rifles.
“Since the latest statements of the National Democratic Front and the government to mutually refrain from taking offensive operations against each other cover only Mindanao, and since there is yet no mutually agreed bilateral ceasefire agreement in place nationwide, the NPA attack in Maasin, Iloilo and elsewhere must be dealt with accordingly and decisively by the AFP and the PNP with the cooperation of civilian agencies and the affected communities,” Dureza said.
Dureza said the recent NPA attack “illustrates the tragedy of the insurgency” in the country.
“The impact is not just on the peace negotiations, it illustrates the tragedy of the insurgency. Hopefully, the attack is just part of the birth pains of the agreement to stop offensive military actions, even if it covers only Mindanao as of now. It is an argument for a nation-wide ceasefire,” he said.