By NORTHERN DISPATCH
BAGUIO CITY — In a press statement to media, the NPA said, the 54th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army (54th IBPA) and the Leonardo Pacsi Command – New People’s Army Mountain Province (LPC) clashed in an encounter on October 29 in Brgy. Dalican, Bontoc.
The initial press release of the 54th IBPA was that the NPA were set to sabotage a concert in Sagada so they needed to secure the area. The NPA was quick to call this a “deceit.”
“First and foremost, the said location of the encounter was too far from the venue of the concert to be considered a threat of sabotage. In truth, the Philippine Army and Philippine National Police took advantage of the concert to justify a military operation in the area,” said Magno Udyaw, spokesperson of the LPC.
It can be recalled that in October 10, the LPC had meted a punitive action against Hedcor Inc, a subsidiary of Aboitiz Power Corporation in Otucan Norte, Bauko.
“The 54th IB which serves as private security for Hedcor, has been inutile in preventing the said tactical offensive and has been proven futile once more in their attempt for a pursuit operation,” Udyaw said.
“The claims of the 503rd Infantry Brigade that the operating troops discovered an encampment and that the NPA sustained casualties is but a poor attempt to save what is left of the pride of their soldiers, and a failure to show-off to their capitalist master which is Hedcor. This is proof that the mercenary tradition of the Philippine Army will never upset the pro-poor and pro-people principle of the NPA,” Udyaw added.
“All aggressions to take over indigenous people’s common resources, robbing the people of their land and water rights, manipulation and deception to push through with capitalist interests, militarization and all threats against peace will not be condoned by the Communist Party of the Philippines- New People’s Army and the Cordillera People’s Democratic Front,” Udyaw ended. # nordis.net