Army remains on guard vs Sparu resurgence

THE Philippine Army’s 3rd Infantry Division based in Capiz province is ready to counter the resurgence of the Special Partisan Unit (Sparu), the New People’s Army’s (NPA) assassination team.

Earlier, President Rodrigo Duterte warned soldiers and policemen of the possible revival of the Sparu following the cessation of the peace talks.

The Sparu is the NPA’s urban hit squad which has been linked to the assassinations of law enforcers and government officials, especially in the 80s.

“Given that (Communist Party of the Philippines founder) Jose Maria Sison said they could kill one policeman or soldier a day, we are considering that one of the courses of action they would initiate was for the activation of their Sparu,” said Brigadier General Dinoh Dolina, 3ID commanding officer.

But Dolina said they have always been ready NPA offensives, particularly in Panay and Negros Islands.

“There are no strong indicators na meron na (revival of the Sparu). Although, sa mga far-flung areas. The NPAs might target helpless residents,” he added.

Dolina cited the recent assassination of a rebel returnee by suspected NPA members.

Jemar Pitogo, 35, was shot dead 5:30pm March 9, 2018 at Sitio Baklayan, Barangay Mahalang, Himamaylan City, Negros Occidental.

He succumbed to gunshot wounds to his head and body.

The Himamaylan City rescue unit responded and brought the victim to the hospital but he was declared dead on arrival.

Witnesses said eight unidentified men, who were believed to be NPA rebels, arrived in the area and one of them shouted that Rayban was already dead.

It is believed that Rayban was Pitogo’s nom de guerre or alias when he was still active with the NPA.

Pitogo’s wife claimed that her husband joined the rebels in 2002 until 2012. She added the NPA murdered her husband on suspicion that he turned into a police or military asset.

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