Not a legit encounter, NPA on medical mission when AFP launched excessive aerial attack – NDFP-NCMR

The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) in North Central Mindanao Region condemned in strongest terms what it described as an “overkill” attack by troops of the 23rd Infantry Battalion under the 402nd Brigade of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on a New People’s Army unit conducting a medical mission in light of the Covid-19 crisis.

The NDFP-NCMR also lambasted the AFP for deliberately falsely reporting that what transpired on May 10 in Gingoog City, Misamis Oriental was a legitimate encounter between the NPA and ground troops of the AFP. Contrary to reports, no firefight ensued between the AFP soldiers and the NPA. The military’s claim that their troops engaged the NPA in battle after responding to alleged reports from villagers is a blatant lie.

The NPA unit was temporarily holding post in the area in the course of conducting a medical mission in response to clamor by villagers when the AFP attacked with air strikes using FA-50 jetfighter with 226.8-kilogram bombs at 3:46 to 9:00 AM. Said medical mission is part of the NPA’s response to directives by the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) to all revolutionary medical units to conduct medical missions and crisis management efforts in far-flung rural communities in light of the Covid-19 crisis.

Military troops as potential Covid-19 carriers/transmitters in rural areas

The NPA unit had responded to reports and complaints from villagers of intensified militarization and troop deployment since the Covid-19 crisis broke out. Villagers and townsfolk had expressed grave concern that the military may well be potential virus carriers and transmitters since the troops come from the cities, roam around their communities without face masks and protective gear, and show no regard for preventive measures such as social distancing and proper sanitation.

Increased troop deployment had also disrupted the lives and livelihoods of the people through the installation of checkpoints, imposition of curfews and population control and the implementation of an irrational, impractical and unproductive three-hour work limit for farmers.

The AFP’s overkill attack resulted in the deaths of 10 Red fighters, among them brave revolutionary medical officers. The martyred rebels were well aware of the threats to their security considering that the region is currently one of the priority targets of the Duterte regime’s all-out war against revolutionary forces and the people, characterized by focused military operations and excessive use of highly expensive aerial force. But because the NPA is imbued with the highest commitment to serve the people, the NPA unit went to the area to attend to the health and welfare of the masses.

The NDFP-NCMR conveys its highest tribute to the martyred Red fighters and extends its most heartfelt condolences to their families, comrades and the masses that they served to their last breath. ###

Not a legit encounter, NPA on medical mission when AFP launched excessive aerial attack – NDFP-NCMR