Measures to defeat hit squads, terrorists in place: AFP

The military on Monday announced that it has already initiated measures aimed at neutralizing the threat posed by the “SPARU” (Special Partisan Unit) assassins of the communist rebels.

Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesperson, Brig. Gen. Edgard Arevalo made the remark in response to President Rodrigo Duterte’s statement expressing concern over the SPARU threat.

“We thank our Commander-in-Chief for his concern for us, soldiers, who face risks while combatting Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) on a daily basis — either against this band of terrorists in the hinterlands or the bunch of treacherous hit squads in the urban centers,” he added.

While SPARU elements do pose a threat to the security of Filipino soldiers, especially those who are off-duty, Arevalo said the AFP has instituted both overt and covert measures to deal with the NPA assassination plots.

“Our soldiers are ingrained with the knowledge and skills to ensure personal security to prepare themselves against suspected individuals with hostile intent. Our soldiers also cover for each other’s backs when in high risk areas,” he said.

“We have specialized units and personnel under the Special Operations Command who are trained to deal with situations outside conventional warfare like unconventional and asymmetric threats,” Arevalo pointed out.

The AFP spokesperson said the military has further enhanced intelligence operations by units active in monitoring and tracking CPP-NPA fighters in urban areas.

Information about these personalities is shared with the Philippine National Police (PNP) for joint and legitimate law enforcement operations not limited to SPARU units.

The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, European Union, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. PNA