On the recent NPA partisan operation in Albay
The partisan operations staged by a unit of the New People’s Army in a market place in Barangay Cotmon, Camalig town, Albay against a supply unit of the 31st Infantry Battalion, was a legitimate military operation against counterinsurgency troops of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). Two enemy troops were killed and a .45 caliber pistol was seized.
Military supply lines comprise an important aspect of war operations. The soldiers, in fact, were armed and ready to engage in battle when ambushed. Disrupting the AFP’s supply lines are among the tactics for waging guerrilla warfare.
The claim of the 9th ID that the troops were preparing for search and rescue operations over a missing Cessna plane is a sorry PR attempt to gloss over the brutal counterinsurgency record of the 31st IB, in the hope of gaining public sympathy.
The 31st IB, to which the two troops belonged to, is an active AFP unit engaged in counter-guerrilla operations and is responsible for scores of human rights violations and war crimes. It is the unit behind the May 8, 2020 massacre of five peasants in Bulan, Sorsogon as well as other cases of killing, torture, illegal arrests and detention, threats and harassment of peasant communities in Sorsogon and Camarines Sur.
The partisan operations of the NPA in Albay point to the fact that armed guerrilla operations in Bicol continue to expand. It shows the ability of the NPA to deploy teams anywhere in order to strike at enemy military targets.
(The above statement was issued in response to media inquiries.)