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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Speaker to Reds: Choose peace

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Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez has appealed to communist rebels to consider the consequences of their actions and “choose the path of peace.”

Romualdez made the statement following a firefight between the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and suspected New People’s Army (NPA) communist rebels in Balayan, Batangas last Sunday.

“In this light, I earnestly appeal to the insurgents to consider the broader implications of their actions on our country and its people. I urge them to abandon the path of violence and to rejoin the fold of the law,” Romualdez said in a statement.

According to reports, six suspected NPA members also lost their lives  in a gun battle Sunday involving joint forces from the Philippine Army’s 59th Infantry Battalion, Philippine Navy, and Philippine Air Force. Three soldiers were wounded and promptly transported to the Medical Center Western Batangas for medical treatment.

Romualdez emphasized the government’s commitment to reconciliation and dedicated efforts to assist those willing to choose the path of peaceful reintegration into society.

The House chief earlier offered condolences to the family of a soldier who lost his life in the line of duty during the Dec. 17 firefight between the AFP and suspected NPA communist rebels.

Department of National Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr. vowed  that the government would continue to pursue and eradicate terrorist groups, following the killing of the said soldier in a clash with rebels in Batangas.

“The AFP will not stop in eradicating terrorist groups which pose a threat to our country,” Teodoro said in a statement Sunday.

The clash happened three weeks after President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. granted amnesty to former members of rebel groups, including the NPA.

The identities of the fallen and wounded troops have yet to be disclosed.

On Sunday, the military encountered an undetermined number of NPA insurgents, believed to be affiliated with the Southern Tagalog Regional Party Committee’s Sub-Regional Military Area 4C, ensuing a firefight in Barangay Malalay in Balayan town.

The clash resulted in six NPA rebels killed and the recovery of high-powered firearms and other subversive documents.

The soldier killed in the clash belonged to the 59th Infantry Battalion. The wounded were taken to the Medical Center Western Batangas in Balayan. With Vince Lopez

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