Cops, soldiers hold ‘rally’ vs. Reds

CLOSE to a hundred people, including local police officers, attended an indignation rally on Thursday, Dec. 26, 2019, condemning the alleged attacks on authorities organized by suspected communist rebels and their various fronts.

The indignation rally was held during the 51st anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of the Philippine and its armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA).

From the Fuente Osmeña rotunda in uptown Cebu City, the participants of the indignation rally marched towards the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) headquarters in Camp Sotero Cabahug.

Aside from the police, the rally was also participated in by various sectors, including members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and employees of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Central Visayas.

The group are protesting, among other things, the ongoing skirmishes organized by the NPA against government forces and the alleged recruitment of young students to join their revolutionary cause.

Police Lieutenant Col. Clark Arriola, CCPO spokesperson, said that even though Cebu City has not been affected by attacks made by the NPA, they sympathized with people in other areas in the region that are constantly being affected by the NPA’s presence.

“This is what we call an indignation rally wherein we denounce all forms of atrocities and violence that impede our nation’s peace and order and development,” Arriola said in a mix of English and Cebuano.

Just before Christmas, the national government and officials of suspected communist guerillas declared a ceasefire from Dec. 23 to Jan. 7.

But the ceasefire agreement was marred after suspected communist guerillas ambushed police and military personnel in the provinces of Iloilo and Camarines Norte.

An official of the AFP Central Command in Cebu City, who refused to identify himself, told reporters that there is a big possibility that the suspension of military operations against the NPA would be lifted due to their failure to respect the ceasefire.

Aside from Cebu City, some cities in Cebu also held their own indignation rallies.

In Mandaue City, officials from the city government, barangay officials and personnel from the Mandaue City Police Office (MCPO), Bureau of Fire Protection, and Bureau of Jail Management and Penology also held an indignation rally.

Mandaue City Mayor Jonas Cortes was also present during the rally.

In a press conference, Cortes said the indignation rally they organized was meant to show the public that in order for the city to prosper, peace and order must be observed constantly.

“Ang kalinaw ang yawe sa kalamboan sa dakbayan (Peace and order is the key to development in our city),” Cortes added.

The mayor added that the rally is also aimed to support the campaign of President Rodrigo Duterte to end the communist threat plaguing the country.

For his part, MCPO director Jonathan Abella clarified that Mandaue is a “white area,” and that there are no suspected communist groups lurking in the city. (AYB / KFD / JKV)