Last 3 February, President Rodrigo Duterte announced the end of the unilateral ceasefire between the government and the New People’s Army.
Discontinuing the ceasefire, which puts peace negotiations in peril, was a result of preemptive attacks by Communist forces against military and industrial installations. This is part of a series of articles charting these incidents leading up to and surrounding the resumption of hostilities.
Bukidnon, Philippines – On 30 January 2017, Quezon Municipal Police operatives rushed to Purok 5, Barangay Libertad, Quezon in Bukidnon after a receiving a call from a concerned citizen. It was reported that a dump truck was being burned by men believed to be members of the New People’s Army.
According to the call, the incident happened at around 8:19 P.M. and upon arrival of the police officers to verify said report they found an already charred dump truck parked in a sugarcane field. The vehicle was owned by former vice-mayor of the municipality, Mrs. Ruby Macabaya.
Initial investigation reveals that said truck was utilized to carry harvested sugarcane, and that around fifty (50) heavily armed men with firearms of varying calibers stopped the truck and burned it after taking away the axle bar and the battery. These said men are believed to be members of the rebel group, New People’s Army (NPA).
From the latest reports, Quezon Municipal Police personnel who were immediately dispatched to the scene are also monitoring the movement of the NPA rebels. All police stations under the Quezon Municipal Police station have been informed about the said incident and are directed to be alert and cautious for the possibility of other attacks by the rebels.
Further investigation shows that about two hours before the reported incident, around eight armed men who are believed to be members of the NPA led by a still unknown rebel commander went to the house of the driver of the said truck. The driver was taken by force and was coerced to drive the truck to the location where it was burned. At said location also were the other cohorts of the crime. The truck was then drenched with gasoline and was burned.
The unnamed commander then explained to the driver, while the truck was burning, that they did so to send a message to the owner of the vehicle as she did not heed the demands of the NPA in the area for financial assistance also known as revolutionary tax.
Once the truck had been burned down all men left and were heading to the vicinity of Barangay Mahayag, Quezon, Bukidnon. It seems that despite a unilateral ceasefire in effect, certain elements of the NPA have been resorting to acts of violence and destruction of property as a means to force civilians to pay revolutionary taxes.
Other incidents include: