Palace warns of NPA attacks but says ‘we don’t have details’

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By Ian Nicolas P. Cigaral, Reporter

Malacañang on Friday warned the public of possible attacks by the New People’s Army (NPA) — the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).

“We also wish to forewarn the public of reported planned attacks of the NPA on people-oriented programs and infrastructure projects,” Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto C. Abella said in a press briefing in Davao City.

“We also appeal to everyone to share information with authorities on suspicious persons and activities in their communities,” Mr. Abella added.

But when sought for details on the Leftist fighters’ plot, Mr. Abella said, “We don’t have details regarding the planned attacks, except the warning. The announcement is that we should be vigilant and we should be careful about our surroundings.”

A fifth round of peace negotiations was effectively derailed after the NPA ordered intensified attacks amid President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s May 23 declaration of martial law in Mindanao in response to the Marawi crisis.

Last week, the CPP criticized the government for its series of statements “impugning” the Left’s sincerity to talk peace following sustained attacks by members of the NPA in different parts of the archipelago.

According to the military, soldiers have killed 50 “communist terrorists” and recovered high-powered firearms in separate operations outside Marawi City since the first day of the bloody siege by the Islamist militants.

The communists have been waging a “revolution” against the state since 1968 to topple a “capitalist system.” They are known for attacking state forces and extorting money from local business particularly in rural areas.

“If we work together, we can prevent these extortion-related activities,” Mr. Abella also said.