MANILA – The National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) on Friday condemned the recent "purposive" attack of the New People's Army (NPA) that killed two children in Barangay Roxas, Catubig, Northern Samar on February 8.
In a statement, NTF-ELCAC spokesperson for Social Media Affairs and Sectoral Concerns, Presidential Communications Operations Office Undersecretary Lorraine Badoy, also extended her condolences to the families of Andre Mercado, 12, and Leandro Alivio, 13, who were killed when rebels belonging to the NPA, the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), ambushed government troops.
She said the insurgents are “cowards who could only take on children” and deprive them of a safe place “where they can grow up, fulfill their destinies and be the strong pillars of our democracy”.
"Our hearts lie broken and we are awash in rage at the murder by the terrorist CPP-NPA-NDF (National Democratic Front). Terrorists opened fire and purposely targeted the children who were in the vicinity of a firefight with government troops who were in hot pursuit of them," Badoy said.
She narrated that instead of pointing their guns at the soldiers, "these violent extremists pointed their guns at the two boys and their other companions -- two of them minors as well -- and opened fire”.
Badoy said the violent attacks of communist groups "are not anymore about pure political differences, but simple terrorism."
"Our children have long been sacrificed at the altar of this inhumane and brutal ideology, communism, that has targeted the most helpless among us: the poorest of the poor, our children, our indigenous peoples. And they have held our country hostage," she added.
Badoy called on the public to stand and unite with the NTF-ELCAC in putting an end to communist insurgency.
She said children deserve to play in a safe and peaceful place.
"We, therefore, enjoin our people to stand united with the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict and bring to an even fuller vigor the whole of nation approach that will put behind bars the leaders of this terrorist organization and finally put an end to this bloody and tragic chapter in our country’s history," Badoy said.
The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.
The NDF has also been formally designated as a terrorist organization by the Anti-Terrorism Council on June 23, 2021, citing it as “an integral and inseparable part” of the CPP-NPA created in April 1973. (PNA)