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Philippine group calls for rebel recruits

Philippine group calls for rebel recruits

The underground Communist Party of the Philippines called on rebels yesterday to recruit thousands of new members and ordered them to punish alleged human rights violators.
The Maoist party, which has waged an insurgency for 38 years, said in an anniversary statement that a larger number of party cadres and members were needed to "raise the revolutionary struggle to a new and higher level," which will provide "a continuous flow of fresh, highly motivated and militant" recruits.
It said its armed wing, the New People's Army, should expand and intensify tactical offensives and seize more weapons from government troops in order to form more fighting units, build additional guerrilla fronts, and improve command structures.
The rebel statement also denounced the government of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo's alleged responsibility for hundreds of killings and abductions of left-wing activists.
It reiterated an order to guerrillas to punish "the most notorious perpetrators of human rights violations and corruption."
The statement did not identify targets by name, but accused a Cabinet committee in charge of internal security as the "director" of the attacks against left-wing activists, whose killings the military and police have blamed on a "purge" in the rebel movement.
The party directed guerrillas to form "teams with the determination and skills" to carry out the attacks.
It noted the guerrillas have not yet "retaliated dramatically against the high bureaucrats and the military and police officers responsible for the acts of state terrorism and fascism," indicating that such attacks will be forthcoming.
"The best time to arrest or give battle to the monsters in the Arroyo regime is when they are already in a state of rapid political decline," the statement said.
The military has declared a nationwide alert in anticipation of guerrilla attacks.
Military chief of staff Gen. Hermogenes Esperon earlier said the NPA currently have 7,100 fighters and influence 2,115 villages.
The rebels have disputed the military's estimates of their armed strength, saying they have the equivalent of 27 battalions of full-time fighters with high-powered rifles, and are backed by "tens of thousands" of militias nationwide.
The London-based human rights group, Amnesty International, has denounced political killings in the Philippines and warned in August that the threat of "retaliatory assassinations by insurgents raises the prospect of a spiral of violence and abuses" as the government wages an all-out war against the rebels.
Arroyo has denounced the political killings and formed a fact-finding commission to investigate them. The commission has finished its work but still has to submit its findings and recommendations to the president.
The Communist Party and the NPA have been included on U.S. and European lists of terror groups.
The rebels withdrew from peace talks in 2004, accusing the Philippine government of instigating their inclusion in the lists and refusing to have them delisted.


Updated : 2020-11-30 13:49 GMT+08:00