By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
Negros Occidental Governor Alfredo Marañon, Jr. slammed the New People’s Army (NPA) yesterday and endorsed President Rodrigo Duterte’s decision to cancel peace talks with the rebels.
“It’s not only Guihulngan City, they have also conducted ambushes in several other places,” Marañon said, referring to the deadly attack that occurred last week.
He went on to refer to the group as insincere, saying, “It is very difficult to talk with them while they are stabbing you in the back.”
The governor also criticized the rebel group for violating the human rights of police officers and urged the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) to investigate the incident.
“[CHR] are only monitoring the government, police, and the armed forces, but never the rebels,” Marañon said. “They have to do their jobs fairly and always investigate both sides.”
Despite the NPA’s recent actions, Marañon said he still welcomes NPA members who want to surrender.
He also pointed out another way of countering the insurgency is through the entry of development in rural and far-flung areas.
In regards to the police, the governor said they lack tactical knowledge on how to handle ambushes, citing the NPA is repeatedly using the same strategy and law enforcement is not doing anything to counter it.
“The pattern is always the same, why are they not taking precautionary action?” Marañon asked.
The governor also expressed his belief the ambush was a setup against the cops, echoing earlier statements by Police Regional Office-18 (PRO-18) spokesperson, Police Senior Inspector Armilyn Vargas./WDJ