AFP scoffs at NPA’s extortion claim in Iloilo police station attack: Panis na ‘yang katwiran niyo!
The Armed Forces of the Philippines is not buying the New People’s Army’s claim that it attacked a police station in Maasin, Iloilo City because its policemen were extorting from local vendors and turned a blind eye to gambling and illegal drugs.
AFP spokesperson Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla on Monday (June 19) said it was obvious that the NPA attacked the police station because the rebels wanted to get more arms.
He said the rebels took advantage of the deployment of troops to Mindanao to surprise the policemen in Maasin Sunday (June 18).
So when the forces were spread thin, they knew that they can do this, they took advantage. That’s why we say it’s very opportunistic on their part,” Padilla said at a press briefing in Malacañang.
“Panis na ‘yung excuse na ‘yon. Huwag niyo nang pinapatulan,” he said of the NPA’s extortion claim.
According to a police report, around 50 suspected NPA members took an undetermined number of firearms and a patrol vehicle from the Maasin police station.
Iloilo City was placed under “red alert” following the attack.
Malacañang has slammed the attack as “opportunistic” since it came at the heels of the National Democratic Front’s promise of a ceasefire with the government in Mindanao.