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Sison says NPA may deploy fighters near Marawi vs Maute

Communist Party of the Philippines founding chairman Jose Maria Sison said it is possible for the New People's Army to deploy guerrilla fighters near Marawi City to help in countering local terrorist group Maute.

Sison told reporters here Tuesday that even with the cancellation of the fifth round of the peace talks with the government, the parties may still opt to have a common stand against the Maute.

The chief political consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines previously said communists are supporting the government in opposing and fighting the Maute and the Abu Sayyaf group.

Now, the communist leader has presented a clearer picture of how the cooperation may be carried out.

"Pwedeng may pwersang malapit sa Marawi, pwedeng magredeploy at tsaka meron pa sa North Cotabato, ayun maglalakad ng mas malayo (There could be NPA forces near Marawi, or there can be a redeployment. There are also forces in North Cotabato, but that would take a longer travel time)," he said.

Sison added there could be area assignments to prevent misencounters between the forces of the government and the NPAs.

He said the proposal is yet to be discussed between the Parties. He also said once the Maute problem is solved, Martial Law may no longer be needed.

"Kung masusugpo na yung Maute, di na kailangan magpatagal ng Martial Law," Sison said.

Cancellation of talks

The government has maintained its position not to participate in the formal talks after the CPP ordered the NPA to step up its offensives following the declaration of Martial Law in Mindanao and the previous statements from Defense Chief Delfin Lorenzana saying the NPA is also a target of Martial Law.

Lorenzana would later retract his statement but the CPP said his order to go after the NPA's "illegal activities" is a contradiction of his position.

The NDFP has recommended for the reconsideration of the CPP's order to intensify its offensives, However, the Party said the military offensives in Mindanao "do not encourage such reconsideration at this time."

"The Filipino people clamor for the NPA to wage more and more offensives amid aerial bombardments, artillery shelling and machine gun strafing and worsening abuses of human rights committed by the AFP," the CPP said in a statement Monday, May 29.

It also denounced what it called the "worsening state of Martial Law." It said the cancellation of this round of talks by the government was prodded by the all-out war and martial law and the demand for the NPA to silence its guns.

"The Duterte government and its military and security officials are fanning the flames of Islamophobia by raising the bogey of "Islamic radicalism", imposing martial law restrictions against Moro communities and subjecting the people to "profiling"," it said.

MNLF to join in fight vs Maute

President Rodrigo Duterte in his visit to Camp Teodulfo Bautista in Jolo, Sulu last Saturday, announced that Moro National Liberation Front Chairman Nur Misuari has offered to deploy their fighters in Marawi.

Misuari's letter to Duterte reads:

Good evening. Assalamualaikum. A truly auspicious opportunity has risen for your brothers to show their mettle in helping their beloved President and the people to restore peace in Mindanao, specifically in Marawi, which is under siege by some organized criminal groups, some of them are being drug lords (sic).

For this purpose, we would like to suggest that the number of (inaudible) officers be formed or at least 500 to 700 of their men, to be drawn from the AFP Division 1 and Division 4. That they will be allowed to form their common post under [the] MNLF founding chairman, major camps in Lanao, specifically Lanao Jabal Nur in Ganassi and Maguing. That they will be allowed to invite MNLF volunteers."

Duterte also invited other members of the MNLF, Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the NPA to be his soldiers of the Republic.

He said he will provide them with the same privileges which the government troops receive, including housing in some areas.

For law and order

Duterte said the declaration of Martial Law in Mindanao was to restore law and order.

"Once law and order is secured, then next week, wala akong ganang mag… Hindi ako diktador, gusto ko na rin magpahinga (Once law and order is secured, then next week, I do not want to.. I am not a dictator, I want to rest)," he said.

While he was on official trip in Russia, Duterte on May 23 signed Proclamation 216 "Declaring a State of Martial Law and Suspending the Writ of Habeas Corpus in the Whole of Mindanao" citing the violence perpetrated by the Maute group as reason. The proclamation provides that the Martial Law will last for 60 days.

As of May 29, Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella said they have received reports of 19 civilians, 61 terrorists, 15 soldiers, three policemen were killed.

[Source: By Zea Io Ming C. Capistrano, Davao Today, Noordwijk Aan Zee, Nld, 31May17]

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small logoThis document has been published on 01Jun17 by the Equipo Nizkor and Derechos Human Rights. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.