Gamu, Isabela—Communist rebels have accused President Rodrigo Duterte of ordering the summary execution of National Democratic Front consultant Randy Malayao, who was shot dead in a parked bus Wednesday.
In a press statement released through its Cagayan Valley Kilusang Rebulusyon spokesman Bienvenido Magalat, the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-NDF said Duterte and Department of Justice placed Malayao on a proscription list and Order of Battle, making him a target of government forces.
The President, the communists said, issued Executive Order 70 that created the National Task Force to End the Communist Insurgency, then ordered the all-out war against both the NPA and the Abu Sayyaf group last week in the aftermath of the bombing of the Jolo Cathedral that claimed 22 lives and injured over 100 others.
Malayao had faced charges filed by the family of the late Cagayan Governor Rodolfo Aguinaldo, who was killed in 2001. But these were dismissed, Magalat said, leading to the NDF consultant’s release from the Cagayan Provincial Jail in Tuguegarao City.
According to the military, Malayao was “one of the masterminds” of the communists in the north, being the top NPA commander in Cagayan Valley.
Major Jefferson M. Somera, spokesperson of the 5th Infantry Division at Camp Melchor dela Cruz based here, said the military was not surprised by the leftists’ accusations and threats.
“In fact we are used to it. Instead, we will continue our massive intelligence and information gathering in coordination with other law enforcement agencies in the area of responsibility so that we could prevent and foil whatever plans the rebels would do,” he said.
The 5th ID “is very much prepared to combat whatever atrocities these insurgents would do to protect all civilians and military any time,” Somera added.
Meanwhile, the Philippine National Police office in Region 2 maintained its heightened alert status in anticipation for leftist-led rallies and any attacks that may occur during Malayao’s vigil in San Pablo, Isabela.
Malayao was once vice president of the Koalisyong Makabayan and writer of the “Northern Dispatch,” the official publication of the NDF.
On Friday, Chief Inspector Rex Pascua, chief of police of Jones town in Isabela, said they expect rebels from the Benito Tesorio Command or NPA South Front to attack government forces and outposts to avenge Malayao, whose remains were taken back to San Pablo on Thursday.
Pascua said police would put up checkpoints along the interior roads of Isabela’s towns and ask for identification from passersby in a bid to thwart the Tesorio rebels, who claimed responsibility for an ambush that killed two Army soldiers in Gamu two years ago.
“We will remain alert and keep our men on the ground. In fact, we had intensified our guard and alerted our assets,” the police chief said, noting that Jones town has already been declared an election hot spot by the Commission on Elections.