Caraga PNP to abide holiday truce with NPA rebels despite attacks

by Ben Serrano

December 17, 2010

            Camp Rafael C Rodriguez, Libertad, BUTUAN CITY (PNA) - Caraga Police Regional Director Cheif Supt. Reynaldo S. Rafal ordered all police opeartives in the entire Caraga region to refrain from initiating offensives for the next 18 days folowing orders from PNP Chief Director General RAUL M BACALZO in observance of the traditional yuletide ceasefire.

            This is despite sporadic attacks made by the communist rebels against Dole Banana plantation in Barobo, Surigao del Sur last December 13 and armed encounter between two squads of soldiers under Charlie company of the 75th Infantry Battalion against the NPA rebels in Lianga, Surigao del Sur Wednesday.

            NPA rebels cut/chop down some 1,600 banana plants owned by Dole Philippines plantation in Sitio Guinhalinan, Barangay Javier, Barobo, Surigao del Sur Monday evening.

            Last Wednesday early dawn, two squads of soldiers belonging to Charlie company of the 75th Infantry Battalion headed by 1Lt Manucan encountered in a fire fight more or less 15 members of the New Peoples Army in Lianga, Surigao del Sur.

            No casualties however were reported.

            Bacalzo in his memorandum order to all PNP Regional Directors and Directors of National Support Units through the Directorate for Operations suspended all police operations against the communist rebels starting 12:01 a.m. of December 16, 2010 until 12:00 MN of January 3, 2011

            Rafal said Bacalzo’s order came into wake after Chairman of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) Peace Panel Alexander Padilla and NDF Chairman Luis Jalandoni agreed for a Christmas Suspension of Police Operations (SOPO) nationwide.

            However Rafal recognizing the continuing threats posed by the NPA rebels, also ordered all police units to remain on-guard and maintain a high state of readiness to respond to hostile actions by the NPA and other domestic threat groups.

            RAFAL clarified that the SOPO shall not cover normal law enforcement operations and shall be without prejudice to actions aimed at protecting the people and the communities.

PNP troops were ordered to be on guard always against insurgents/terrorist attacks that may take place during the SOPO period.

Rafal on the other hand also ordered police operatives in the region to remain on alert despite the truce in light of the anniversary of theCommunist Party of the Philippines (CPP) on Decemebr 26, which may stimulate rebel forces to launch attacks. (PNA/Ben Serrano)