BONTOC, Mountain Province – The Leonardo Pacsi command of the New People’s Army (NPA) belied the allegation of the police and military that it planned to sabotage the Concert in the Clouds event in Sagada last October 28 and 29, citing it was the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) that took advantage of the situation to justify the conduct of a military operation in the area.
In a press statement, the NPA stated the claim of the police and military that they planned to sabotage the concert participated in by national artists was not true, considering that the area of the encounter which was in Barangay Dalican was too far from the venue of the concert, thus, it could not be concluded that it was about to sabotage the said concert.
Last October 29 an encounter between the 54th Infantry Battalion and a unit of the NPA-LPC took place near Barangay Dalican. The initial pronouncement of the 54th IB was that they received intelligence reports that the NPA was out to sabotage an ongoing concert in Sagada so they needed to secure the area, resulting to the skirmish.
According to the NPA statement, “This is but another deceit by the Philippine Army. First and foremost, the said location of the encounter was too far from the venue of the concert to be considered a threat of sabotage.”
It can be recalled that on the night of October 10 another unit of the LPC dismantled and burned the sub-station of Hedcor-Sabangan in Otucan Norte, Bauko as punitive action against Hedcor Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Aboitiz Power Corporation.
The NPA added the 54th IB, which serves as private security for Hedcor, has been allegedly inutile in preventing the said tactical offensive and has been proven futile once more in their attempt for a pursuit operation against the perpetrators of the said incidents.
Further, the NPA pointed out that the claims of the 503rd Infantry Brigade that the operating troops discovered an encampment and that the NPA sustained casualties is but a poor attempt to save what is left of the pride of their soldiers, and a failure to show-off to their capitalist master which is Hedcor.
According to the NPA statement, this is a proof that the mercenary tradition of the Philippine Army will never upset the pro-poor and pro-people principle of the NPA.
“All aggressions to take over indigenous people’s common resources, robbing the people of their land and water rights, manipulation and deception to push through with capitalist interests, militarization and all threats against peace will not be condoned by the Communist Party of the Philippines, New People’s Army, and the Cordillera People’s Democratic Front,”the statement stressed.