CONDEMNED. The site of the roadside encounter where suspected CPP-NPA members engaged policemen and detonated an anti-personal mine in Barangay Bi-ao, Binalbagan, Negros Occidental on Sunday (Feb. 13, 2022). The Western Visayas Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict condemned the “senseless violence” calling it a “treacherous attack” for detonating anti-personnel mine aimed at the policemen. (Photo courtesy of Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office)

ILOILO CITY – The people of Negros Island should stand up and cooperate with the government to put an end to the local communist insurgency.

The Western Visayas Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF6-ELCAC) made the call on Monday following a roadside encounter between Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) rebels and the Binalbagan Municipal Police Station (BMPS) in Barangay Bi-ao on Sunday that injured two policemen and one minor.

A statement released by Assistant Provincial Prosecutor Flosemer Chris Gonzales, task force spokesperson, said the incident is a proof of CPP-NPA’s “barbaric and anti-people policy” to sow fear and terror in the communities.

The RTF6-ELCAC condemned the “senseless violence” calling it a “treacherous attack” for detonating an anti-personnel mine aimed at the policemen.

“These acts of violence are proof that the CPP-NPA has lost the support of the people in the countryside and merely shows that they are desperate for attention,” the statement read.

The task force, meanwhile, commended the police officers of the BMPS for standing their ground against the terrorists.

“We commend the bravery of our civilian responders and volunteers who facilitated the immediate medical intervention to the ambush victims,” it added.

On Sunday, Regional Director Brig. Gen. Flynn E Dongbo led the entire Police Regional Office 6 (PRO6) in strongly denouncing the “deceitful and cowardly act” of the local communist terrorist group (CTG).

The team of police led by Lt. Charles Richard Casalan, the station's deputy chief of police, was on board a PNP vehicle to respond to a call for police assistance about an alleged dead body found at Sitio Nursery, Barangay Bi-ao of the said municipality when an explosion occurred after which an exchange of gunfire ensued.

Casalan and Cpl. Julius Tranquiller sustained minor injuries and were treated in the nearest hospital.

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 National Democratic Front (CDF) has 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)