DAVAO CITY—Mayor Sara Duterte on Monday condemned the recent attacks of the New People’s Army in three different areas here, as the terrorist group burned 10 heavy equipment and machines on Saturday.
“The attacks were downright cowardly and indicate that the NPA is nothing but a terrorist group that deserves our collective rejection and condemnation,” Duterte said.
The heavy equipment was used for the construction of road projects in Barangay Callawa, Barangay Fatima, and Barangay Dalagdag, which the mayor said aims to end the “condition of chronic poverty in these areas.”
Presidential Peace Adviser Jesus Dureza also condemned the destruction of the construction equipment.
“The fact that the three consecutive attacks happened during the observance of Holy Week all the more angers us,” Dureza said in a statement.
It also “unnecessarily squanders whatever gains we have been quietly getting lately in our common efforts with the CPP/NPA/NDF leadership to achieve just peace through the negotiations table,” he added.
Duterte said the NPA attack “hinders the development of the area to deliver faster services” of the government, such as education, health, agricultural development and livelihood.
“The NPA’s revolution is one designed to undermine our democracy and development through its brand of egregious violence and extremism,” she said.
“The fresh atrocities reveal that the terrorist group only truly intends for people to continue living in a condition of poverty, which they could use as a capital in their propaganda against the government and to justify their presence in the communities where their influence and significance are waning,” the mayor added.
Duterte also noted that the attacks were retaliatory actions of the NPA, as the construction companies refused the extortion attempts of the terrorist group.
The military and police were pursuing the perpetrators, the mayor said.
Duterte stressed her appeal to the people to continue their support to the authorities and to condemn the actions of the NPA.
“Let me reiterate my previous appeal to the people of Davao and to our partners in the peace and development movement— let us support our soldiers and police and let us openly condemn NPA as a terrorist group,” she said.