Cagayan Valley police chief survives NPA ambush

>> Tuesday, July 4, 2017

By Raymund Catindig

GATTARAN, Cagayan  - The Cagayan Valley province police director survived an ambush by New People’s Army rebels here Monday in Barangay San Carlos.
It was not clear if people were hurt in the incident but reports said Senior Supt. Warren Tolito, provincial police chief, was in a convoy with several policemen to inspect the house of Army veteran Dexter Remodaro, which was also attacked by the rebels night of June 25.
The attack hurt civilians Vilma and Jeraise Raguingan, who are being treated for bullet wounds in a nearby hospital.
Provincial police spokesman Supt. Chevalier Iringan said they have yet to confirm if there were casualties in the attack.
He said Tolito and his group were heading to interior Baggao town to do an ocular inspection when an undetermined number of rebels fired at the approaching vehicles.
As of 3:45 p.m. Monday, Tolito sent a text message saying they were still “inside the danger zone.”
The NPA’s Henry Abraham Command also said in a statement that they raided Remodaro’s house because the military intelligence group used it for several activities.
Chief Supt. Robert Quenery, Cagayan Province Police head, condemned the attack on Remodaro’s residence and called on the Commission on Human Rights to also issue a condemnation.
“Violence has no place in Cagayan Valley whose people only want to live in peace and harmony,” Quenery said.
The attacks came as the government peace panel awaited President Duterte’s order that will determine whether negotiations with the National Democratic Front  would be resumed or not.
Although Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, who is also the panel chairman, said the government continues to be willing to resume the talks, the NDF must first prove its sincerity to negotiate.
The communist group would also need to cooperate in providing an atmosphere conducive for negotiations to flourish, which includes the observance of its earlier promise to hold off offensives, he added.
Although Bello appears to have not been informed of the ambush, he told Manila newsmen the NDF must show that the negotiation is still important to them “because if that is not important, we should not talk anymore.”
 “The NDF is claiming that they are helping the President with his anti-drug campaign. But I told them ‘no matter the reason, it still does not conform with your commitment of no offensive’,” he added, stressing that trust and sincerity are important between negotiating parties.
“If you don’t trust the person you are talking with and there is always doubt, nothing will happen,” Bello said.
In a statement, the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) said it is still looking forward to continuing the peace negotiations with the government. 
It added that the CPP is also waiting for directives from NDF negotiating panel chief Fidel Agcaoili and chief political consultant Jose Ma. Sison.
“Like the (government) panel that makes recommendation to Duterte, so does the NDFP negotiating panel make recommendations to the NDFP National Council, of which the CPP is part, as well as to the CPP Central Committee which commands the NPA,” the statement read in part.
The CPP added that it looks forward to the embargoed 5th round of NDF-GRP peace talks in August or September.

The revolutionary forces continue to regard peace negotiations as an opportunity to resolve through dialogue the fundamental socio-economic issues at the root of the armed conflict, even as the people are compelled to wage ever greater resistance against the oppression, exploitation and armed suppression by the reactionary state, the CPP said.  


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