At least four consecutive armed operations were launched by members of the New People’s Army (NPA) in Southern Panay since 2 May, according to NPA – Napoleon Tumagtang Command.
First in the series of offensives was an armed operation against a military detachment based in Barangay Luyang, Sibalom, Antique around 10PM last 2 May.
This was followed by a punitive action by the NPA on 5 May against Atrila Builders Inc in Barangay Cabungan, Leon, Iloilo where at least 4 construction equipment were paralyzed including a backhoe, a grader, an elf truck and a roller. According to NPA – Napoleon Tumagtang Command, Atrila Builders Inc is guilty of violating labor standards such as not paying its workers their due wages and unfair working conditions among other complaints coming from residents. The said company is located just 2 kilometers from the CAFGU Active Auxiliary (CAA) detachment in Barangay Maliao in the same municipality.
On 6 May, Red fighters successfully foiled a planned operation by the Philippine Army in response to the said attack on Atrila Builders in Iloilo.
On 8 May, an NPA unit launched a tactical offensive against another CAA detachment in Barangay Igcococ, Sibalom, Antique.
“These armed actions demonstrate the NPA’s determination to fight and resist the intensifying attacks of the enemy under the fascist US-Marcos II regime,” said NPA-Southern Panay in a statement. “This reflects the unrelenting support of the people for the NPA and the revolutionary struggle,” the NPA added.
The backdrop of these recent armed operations includes the latest agreement between the US government and the Marcos II regime. Last 3 May, Marcos II met with U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to agree on sharing real-time military intelligence. The agreement, known as the General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA) is meant to exchange sophisticated military intelligence in a timely manner and is set to be finalized within the year.