The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) today declared that "there was neither treachery nor a violation of the 19-day ceasefire declared by the CPP and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP)," when the New People's Army (NPA) successfully carried out on December 14 an ambush against the operating troops of the Philippine Army's 803rd Brigade in Las Navas, Northern Samar. According to initial reports, the Red fighters were able to seize at least 10 high-powered firearms from the defeated Philippine Army unit.
"The CPP, NPA, NDFP and all revolutionary forces fully support the peace negotiations and faithfully abide by their declarations and commitments, including their December 16 to January 3 ceasefire declaration, simultaneous with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) ceasefire."
As far as the CPP, NPA, NDFP and revolutionary forces are concerned, the Samar ambush last Tuesday should not in any way affect the progress of the peace negotiations. It was a legitimate act of war, carried-out in self-defense in response to an active enemy offensive operation," the CPP said.
"On the other hand, the AFP spokesman, Brig. Gen. Mabanta's claim of NPA treachery is hypocritical and turns on its head. In fact, it was the AFP forces that had treacherous intent in carrying out offensive operations against the NPA and the revolutionary mass base in the area just two days before the start of the simultaneous ceasefire."
"They dispatched their troops to scour the area and conduct offensive military operations based on a report they received about the presence of an NPA unit in the area, knowing full well that the area is an NPA operational base," the CPP pointed out.
The CPP said further that "The 803rd Brigade deployed troops in the area precisely to give battle to the NPA. But the people's army was monitoring the movements of the offensive enemy forces and engage them in gunbattle. With the support of the people, mastery of the terrain and superior knowledge of guerrilla tactics, the NPA unit was easily able to subdue the operating enemy troops."
"The NPA ambush was carried out according to international rules of war," added the CPP. "The NPA unit legitimately and responsibly employed command-detonated explosives, as opposed to pressure-triggered land mines, to subjugate the AFP unit, in consonance with the Ottawa Treaty and other international treaties concerning the conduct of war."
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