A SPARROW (assassination) unit of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) has tagged three Cabinet secretaries of the Duterte administration and a ranking official of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) for neutralization.
Heading the list is Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año who was joined by National Security Adviser Secretary Hermogenes Esperon and Presidential Adviser for Indigenous Peoples’ Concerns Secretary Allen Capuyan.
Also targeted for assassination is AFP Deputy Chief of Staff for Civil-Military Operations Maj. Gen. Antonio Parlade.
It was Parlade who divulged the information during a media forum yesterday held at the DILG-NAPOLCOM building in Quezon City.
According to the AFP official, the central committee of the CPP-NPA-NDF had decided Tuesday night to make him and the three Cabinet officials their top targets through Oplan Hades.
Aside from the Cabinet members and military official, the communist list of targets included five cadres who helped the government in exposing the CPP’s activities.
Parlade said that Oplan Hades is intended to neutralize counter-revolutionaries or those who are against their group.
This is the first time in years that the communists placed the four government people in their list for neutralization, Parlade said.
“Alam nila na active at alam nila na effective, tinatamaan sila eh, nasasaktan sila. This the first time na ginawa nila ito, ang linaw dun sa dokumento makikita mo dun,” he told reporters.
Asked how he treated the threat to his life, Parlade said “let’s show to the people there’s a job to be done, somebody has to do it. . . kung matatakot ka papano yan, sinong gagawa dito, pero ako wala akong kinatatakot sa kanila kasi wala akong utang na dugo, wala akong inagaw na lupa, kinamkam na lupa, wala akong kasalanan sa masa nila, alam nila yan, ang akin lang i-share natin tong katotohanan na ito sa ating mga kababayan, (dapat) magkaroon ng kalinawan ang ating mga kabaababayn kung ano itong duplicity ng communist party.
He said that even convicted former AFP top official Gen. Jovito Palparan has not been removed from the rebels’ target list.
Pressed if President Duterte is also on the list, Parlade said “Of course the President is always the target pero hindi naka-lista.”
In the same media forum, Parlade revealed that the communists’ strength has already dropped by a big margin as shown by the number of rebels who have returned to the fold of the law.
“Malakas pa sila sa Samar areas but in the Eastern Mindanao ay na-contain na natin and some areas of Bacolod, Bicol and CALABARZON (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon).
In Northern Luzon, a handful of communist rebels are now trying hard to make it appear they exist, the military official said.
Parlade also made a bold prediction that insurgency will end in one year or two.