Dastardly grenade attack

VIEWS

The communist New People’s Army after its peak of having 25,000 regulars in the mid 80s is getting back and striking hard and near to cities and town centers. Two weeks ago a NPA band made a checkpoint in a barangay near Davao City, for which military officials stationed in the region described that the rebels are already knocking at the doorstep of the metropolitan city. Already, several NPA attacks have been carried out to municipal police stations and banana plantations located at the border fringes of cities and town centers in the region. Yesterday, suspected NPA rebels lobbed a grenade at the town center of Nabunturan killing two innocent civilians and injuring 11 others. It was an act dastardly and condemnable in most strongest terms.

Why did they lob the grenade infront a bakery where civilians were milling? Recklessly including innocent civilians in their targets is certainly not a good strategy in winning the hearts and minds of the people. Certainly, it was the injury and suffering of the civilians in insurgency-stricken areas, made complicated by scorched-earth policy of Marcosian military operations and deep penetration agents, which almost broke the back of this long-running insurgency in the 80s. This was the reason of the rise of the Alsa Masa in the 80s that led to NPA decline and setbacks.

The Nabunturan grenade attack came three days after when suspected NPA sparrows shot dead two Army soldiers while they were eating inside a carenderia in the town’s public market. What’s the message being conveyed here if indeed it was the NPA who made this brutal attack that killed and injured civilians? Was the bakery owner not paying revolutionary tax under what the military says as NPA extortion? Are they sending a message to the town people to cower in fear of their presence? Was there a military target among those killed and injured that civilians were needlessly considered as collateral damage? If this is a new terroristic style in the NPA’s reaffirmist war now, then sorry they would be doomed again towards annihilation for lack of civilian support.

The last time we know is that the NPA has been extra mobile hitting only big firms, plantations, businesses and miners and governmental facilities and corrupt officials, and the armed elements of the State including those civilians who are helping counter-insurgency operations, and leaving the civilians unaffected in their reaffirmed operational style of warfare and revolutionary taxation. The Nabunturan grenade attack that terrorizes now the poblacion local populace doesn’t fit in this NPA’s new style of warfare. Is this a signal that they would now be engaging in military attacks that consider civilians as a must collateral damage? Are there any suspects besides the NPA like the possibility of rogue military elements doing mad mob-scare retaliation for the slaying of the two soldiers last Sunday? What’s really the motive of the attack?

These are troubling questions that authorities must pursue in ferreting out answers, while they should hunt the assailants down until they are arrested and tried so that justice would be served to Nabunturan victims. (7/3/08) (Cha Monforte/Rural Urban News) http://ruralurbanews.blogspot.com

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