Rise up vs Reds, Lorenzana urges people
DEFENSE Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Friday urged the public to rise up against the New People’s Army whom he described as the true enemies of the people as a result of its extortion activities and terror attacks.
He made the call after communist rebels attacked a military convoy in Davao City, killing two soldiers and wounding 10 others.
Two rebels were also killed.
“They rely on treachery and guile to trick the innocent into joining their misguided cause and killing those who oppose them, Lorenzana said.
“I am one with the President in condemning the atrocities committed by the NPA and in rightfully labeling them as terrorists. I call on the Filipino people to rise up against these criminals and terrorists.”
Lorenzana made his statement even as four soldiers and two communist rebels were killed while 11 soldiers were wounded in two clashes in Marawi City and in the outskirts of Davao City on Thursday.
In Northern Samar, soldiers killed a communist rebel during a brief firefight and found an improvised explosive device and three cellular phones.
The NPA on Friday denied the claim by the military that it launched attacks against a relief operation being aided by soldiers in Surigao del Norte on Tuesday.
“The reports coming from the AFP are highly dubious,” the Communist Party of the Philippines said in a statement.
The Duterte administration restarted the peace talks with the communists in the hope of gaining lasting peace, but President Rodrigo Duterte soon terminated the talks after the rebels killed two soldiers in Davao City recently.
He then ordered the arrest of several prominent communist leaders, including the Tiamzon couple Benito and Wilma, following the scrapping of the Joint Safety Immunity Guarantee covering their temporary liberty.
Lorenzana called on the public to resist the communists taking refuge in their communities and to inform the military about their presence.
“We must intensify our fight against all forms of oppression and exploitation, but we must open our eyes wide to see who our real enemies are,” Lorenzana said.
“We must frustrate them at every turn by denying them a foothold in our communities and by reporting all illegal and criminal activities to the proper authorities.” With Mel Caspe and John Paolo Bencito