Red plot in play

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Destab veterans President Rodrigo Duterte is sandwiched by predecessors Fidel Ramos (left) and Joseph Estrada during the Philippine Business Conference and Expo last Thursday. The three leaders got a share of failed destabilization attempts during their terms with the latest being the most serious, coming from armed communist rebels. YUMMIE DINGDING

The Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army’s (CPP-NPA) coordinated nationwide tactical offensives, particularly “Koda Supermarket” under the “Red October Project,” have started rolling with recent attacks on government targets in three provinces.

Declassifying the information is necessary to stop the plot and spare innocent civilians.

Yesterday, both the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) confirmed recent attacks in Camarines Sur, Aurora and Negros Oriental as being part of the coordinated tactical offensives that were part of “Koda Supermarket” laid out by the CPP-NPA to weaken the Duterte administration.

The “Koda Supermarket,” as revealed by documents seized by government troops, was aimed at collecting more firearms and equipment from police and military targets through raids and ambuscades on soft targets and other targets of opportunity.

The PNP is conducting a probe on the attack likely executed by NPA members who killed three police officers escorting Food and Drug Administration Director General Nela Charade Puno in Daet, Camarines Norte last 18 October.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said they will let the PNP handle the primary investigation of the attack.

“We’ll let the PNP do the primary investigation. The NBI (National Bureau of Investigation) will be on standby to provide support and assistance if needed,” Guevarra said.

Puno and the police escorts were on their way to Daet, Camarines Norte when their convoy was attacked by armed men in Lupi town, resulting in the death of three policemen and wounding of three others.

Initial investigation showed the convoy was fired upon in Barangay Napolidan around 9:10 a.m. Maria Luisa Calubaquib of the Bicol police said Puno, who was in a separate vehicle, was unharmed.

Those who were killed in the ambush are SPO1 Percival Rafael, PO3 Carlito Navarroza and PO1 Ralph Jason Vida while the wounded were PO1 Jonathan Perillo, PO1 Ruby Buena and PO1 Rodolfo Gonzaga.

Investigation showed the attackers hit the police vehicle at the rear of the convoy that resulted in the death of the three policemen on board.

Gov’t real target

PNP chief Director General Oscar Albayalde said the attacks were not only meant to target police but these are assaults against the government as a whole.

“We condemn these latest acts of lawless terror by the local communist movement against symbols of government authority. We mourn their loss, but assure the ends of justice will be served,” Albayalde said.

“This is not only an attack on the police, but also an assault on a national agency that protects consumer welfare,” he added.

Albayalde was referring to the ambush staged by the CPP-NPA in Lupi, Camarines Sur and in Aurora province on Tuesday.

PNP Director for Operations Director Mao Aplasca has alerted all PNP field units to conduct counter-actions against tactical offensives of the CPP-NPA dubbed “Koda Supermarket.”
Four police officers were killed-in-action in these two separate tactical engagements with the CPP-NPA.

Col. Noel Detoyato, AFP public affairs office chief, also confirmed the ambush against the FDA convoy in Lupi was part of “Koda Supermarket.”

Red October subplot

“It’s part of the so-called ‘Koda Supermarket’ which our troops discovered from seized documents in Camarines Sur last May,” Detoyato said.

The “Koda Supermarket” was originally part of the several plots under the “Red October Project” — a sinister plan to oust President Duterte but fizzled out after the military exposed it.

Last month, Brig. Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr., AFP assistant deputy chief of staff for operations, revealed the CPP-NPA was set to launch “nationwide coordinated tactical offensives” on 11 to 17 October — targeting vital government installations and projects.

Other communist oplans under “Red October Project” were “Casino” to aim at the assassination of government assets and intelligence agents; “Bulldozer” to attack mining companies and burn down government projects; “Tabasco” to put down “Tokhang” agents and alleged extrajudicial killing suspects and “Hades” which targets government personalities.

Seized documents bare plot

Parlade said the CPP-NPA campaign was discovered from recovered and seized documents and laptops by government troops during operations against the rebels.

Parlade added declassifying the information is necessary to stop the plot and spare innocent civilians.

Albayalde added the police are now looking into the incident to prevent similar occurrence in the future.

He stressed that the inquiry is not about fault-finding but to improve on the PNP operational capability.

“We had this critique not to find faults among our policemen but to improve on our skills and firefighting capabilities and motivation to fight,” Albayalde said.

He added the three slain policemen and the three wounded would be awarded with proper recognition.

“That (recognition) is fitting because they are heroes…they fought and paid the ultimate sacrifice,” Albayalde said.

Initially, the chief PNP cited poor intelligence that led to the ambush staged by the NPA — which is known to have strong presence in Bicol Region.

“Bicol Region is known to have (NPA), we cannot be complacent here. We cannot take for granted these kinds of activity especially there are VIP (very important persons),” Albayalde said.

with Alvin Murcia

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