Cafgu to protect miners from NPA raids proposed

MINING companies under the mercy of extortion by the communist New People’s Army should seek military help in repelling them, a senior Palace official said Thursday.

In a radio interview, Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo said that mining companies can counter extortion attempts by armed communist rebels by organizing their own Civilian Armed Force Geographical Unit (Cafgu)’s—which could be a “good 

alternative” against predatory attacks by the NPA.

“I talked with one miner, big mining company. He said what they were doing was to seek help from the Armed Forces of the Philippines to give them the authority to organize their own Cafgu,” Panelo said.

He said once the Cafgu was organized, New People’s Army fighters would not be able to enter their area.

“Maybe that’s a good alternative,” Panelo added in Filipino. “They can create their own security force around the perimeter of their mining companies so that no NPA can enter.”

Duterte had earlier threatened to shut down mining companies which give “revolutionary taxes” to the NPA.

The government said these “taxes” were tantamount to extortion.

On Tuesday, Duterte designated the Communist Party of the Philippines, as well as its armed wing, the NPA, as a “terrorist organization” following the collapse of the peace talks.

President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday took more shots at CPP founder Jose Maria Sison, saying he was directing the communist insurgency in the comfort of his political asylum in the Netherlands.

In his speech at Clark, Pampanga, Duterte challenged Sison to return to the Philippines and engage him in a brawl.

He also slammed the rebel leader, who is acting like he had dignity and importance. “Para kayong senyorito [You are acting like you are entitled],” he said.

The President also discouraged the youth of the leftist movement to continue the armed struggle that was started by their cowardly elders.

“It’s too late in the day to introduce even a simple form of socialism. The Filipinos will never be ready for it,” said Duterte, who once described himself as a socialist.

In Davao City, Duterte’s daughter, Mayor Sara Duterte, canceled negotiations between the city government and the NPA, after the President declared the NPA as terrorists.

“Since the policy of the government is to never negotiate with terrorists, what we are going to do is to talk to the community about the issues in the communities through the DC-PEACE Dev [Davao City Advisory Committee for Peace and Development],” the mayor said.

The DC Peace Dev will be the channel of communication between the communities in the far-flung areas and the city government, she said.

Also on Thursday, Senator Francis Escudero reminded the police and military to strictly observe the provisions of the Human Security Act in the conduct of operations after the government officially branded the Communist Party of the Philippines and the NPA as a terrorist organizations.

Escudero, former chairman of the Senate committee on justice and human rights, said President  Duterte’s declaration removes the possibility of peace talks because it is government policy not to negotiate with terrorists.

Topics: NPA , cafgu
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