MANILA – The National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) on Monday scored the Communist Party of the Philippines – New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) for its “pattern” of victimizing students by mounting “ruthless and indiscriminate” attacks near public schools while demanding the resumption of peace talks with the government.
In a statement, the NTF-ELCAC pointed out the attacks are in flagrant and utter disregard for the welfare and safety of thousands of pupils, teachers and their communities, noting schools are peace zones.
“The communist terrorist’s violent design is clear — launch attacks near schools and other vulnerable public places to sow fear and confusion in a desperate but, ultimately, futile bid to project an image of strength, to coerce and blackmail the government to submit to a ceasefire, and fall into the trap of another round of national peace talks with the CPP-NPA and their allies in the National Democratic Front (NDF),” it said.
“It is for this reason that the NTF-ELCAC joins Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte and our partners in the education sector in calling out and condemning the communist terrorist perpetrators, their insidious enablers and callous conspirators who should be held to account for these transgressions,” it added.
The NTF-ELCAC noted that such tactics “are among the oldest and dirtiest tricks in this enemy’s playbook, used to great effect for decades now.”
The task force also debunked the need for peace talks at the national level since local peace talks “have been fruitful and, in a short period, have borne more positive results than decades worth of ‘peace talks’ with self-styled leaders of the CPP-NPA-NDF.”
On the other hand, the NTF-ELCAC supported the Vice President’s stand in rejecting calls by the Alliance of Concerned Teachers for peace talks.
It likewise commiserated with the victims of the CPP-NPA’s latest assaults on peace — children who were subjected to the trauma of explosions and gunfire, teachers and pupils alike fearing for their lives and safety as soldiers and innocent civilians were treacherously attacked.
“To those who were harmed, maimed or killed, we grieve and offer our sincerest sympathies. To the cowards who perpetrate these attacks, we swear the righteous justice of our laws and that of God. On the face of these assaults against our nation’s peace by the cowards of the CPP-NPA, we shall continue to bring genuine progress and meaningful development to the people and communities victimized by this 54-year insanity of the CPP-NPA-NDF,” it said.
The NTF-ELCAC also vowed to protect all peace-loving peoples and their communities and keep them safe from all forms of threats and to relentlessly run after those who commit the abominable and bring them to justice. (PNA)