In response to President Rodrigo Duterte's plan to extend martial law in Mindanao until the end of 2017, the New People's Army attacked an elite Presidential Security Group in North Cotabato, leaving six guards wounded and one paramilitary guard dead Wednesday.
The Communist Party of the Philippines had responded to the extension Tuesday, accusing Duterte of laying the foundations for dictatorship and assaulting the rights of Filipinos “under U.S. imperialist tutelage.”
“Martial law in Mindanao is directed at the New People’s Army and the Party-led forces as much as the Moro people,” the CPP added, highlighting how military authorities have targeted the guerrillas in various regions with aerial bombardments, shellings and other forms of extreme militarization since the introduction of martial rule. The clandestine party also noted how workers' rights and communities have generally suffered while paramilitaries operate with impunity in their harassment of Indigenous Lumad people.
“Revolutionary forces nationwide are firmly united and ever determined to resist martial law in Mindanao," it continued, "The New People’s Army must continue to strengthen itself nationwide by carrying out armed counteractions and offensives across the country to defeat the Mindanao martial law and nationwide all-out war,” the CCP said.
Duterte was not in the area on the southern island of Mindanao when the clash between the NPA and the PSG erupted early in the morning. "Five of our troops in two vehicles were slightly wounded in the firefight," PSG commander Brigadier-General Louie Dagoy told reporters.
Police said a paramilitary guard was killed and one was wounded. Both were traveling with the PSG unit.