Philippine National Police chief: New People's Army hitmen ‘still a grave threat’

December 08, 2018

COMMUNIST New People’s Army hitmen have already killed 136 targets including soldiers and policemen since 2015 and still continue to pose a grave danger to the lives of security forces and others on the NPA list, thus the need to implement counter-measures to address the problem, including the creation of a special squad that will go after the rebel assassins, Philippine National Police chief Director General Oscar D. Albayalde said.

Albayalde said the NPA death squad no longer exists, he was referring to the notorious NPA Alex Boncayao Brigade (ABB) of the Manila-Rizal Regional Party Committee organized by of Filemon Lagman, one of the members of the CPP/NPA/NDF rejectionist wing led by Arturo Tabara and Romulo Kindanar in the late 80s.

He said that the ABB was disbanded by the pro-Sison reaffirmist wing of the CPP/NPA/NDF in early 1990’s during its 2nd Rectification period.

“But since then, the pro-Sison reaffirmist wing also adopted its Sparrow-like operations against their perceived enemies reportedly including the assassinations of Lagman, Tabara and Kintanar in early 2000,” the PNP chief said.

Albayalde said over the past 3  years, there had been 136 hits on   soldiers, policemen, rebel returnees, local officials, and tribal leaders by the CPP/NPA/NDF attributed to its Special Partisan Unit/Special Operations Group (SPU/SOG) based in the “red areas” or areas in the country where there is a large presence of NPA guerrillas.

“These hit squads are now popularly referred to as the Sparrows. But they are not based in urban areas like the former Sparrow Unit, but only get out from the red area (normally rural area) to do special partisan operations e.g., liquidation, murder or assassination, as directed by the Regional Party Committee,” he said.

Gen. Albayalde said that this active CPP/NPA/NDF hit squad is responsible for 136 confirmed kills over the last three years. “There is strong possibility that it will stage more hits depending on how the communist movement would want to utilize the SPU/SOG’s specialized capability for small unit missions against vulnerable targets,” he added.

“This specialized capability of the CPP/NPA/NPA should be addressed with an equally-specialized counter measure to reduce the potential for further attacks on soft targets.”