Malacañang on Saturday, July 1, reiterated its call to the public to be alert and on the lookout against the reported planned attacks of the New People’s Army (NPA).
In his Mindanao Hour briefing over Radyo Pilipinas (formerly Radyo ng Bayan), Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said the NPA’s planned attacks on people-oriented programs and infrastructure projects are extortion-related.
“We wish to forewarn the public of reported planned attacks of the NPA on people-oriented programs and infrastructure projects and request the citizenry of Mindanao and everyone else in the country to be on the alert and on the lookout,” Abella said.
“We also appeal to everyone to share information with authorities on suspicious persons and activities in their communities. Sabi nga po nila, if we can work together, we can prevent these extortion-related activities,” he said.
“Para po sa perspective ng militar, ang mga gawain po na mga planned attacks na ito ng mga NPA are all extortion-related,” he added.
Abella meanwhile provided the updates on the government’s operations in Marawi, saying that civilians killed are at 39 or lower than what was previously reported.
“According to Scene of the Crime — SOCO report’s correction, ‘yung ni-report po na, for the previous 17 cadavers recovered 17 days ago is actually po, actually 12 lang po pala upon full examination. So ‘yung verified are only 12 cadavers,” he said.
Meanwhile, Abella said civilians rescued are at 1,713. Terrorists killed, meanwhile, are at 317 while government casualties are at 82.
In the same radio briefing, the Palace official dispelled allegations made by Senator Risa Hontiveros that President Rodrigo Duterte’s first year in office is allegedly a year of misogyny.
Abella reiterated the Duterte administration’s commitment for women’s rights, which he said, extends to action initiated by the President when he was still mayor of Davao City.
“We hope that Senator Hontiveros should judge the President not by the word that he says, but for what he stands for, tsaka po ‘yung talagang tinatayuan niya,” Abella said.
Abella noted that among the projects and programs made by then Mayor Duterte for women include the local version of the Reproductive Health Bill in Davao City; the passage of the Women’s Code by the Davao City Council in 1997; as well as the creation of the Davao City’s Council for Women, which enables the monitoring of reports of violence against women in 182 barangays in the city.
Abella also said it was under Duterte’s watch as mayor of Davao when the Women and Children Protection Unit was established at the Southern Philippines Medical Center to provide psychological support, as well as the Davao’s version of the 911 for emergencies.
“If only the Senator would really look and not just make comments based on prejudgments and kneejerk reactions, I would say that … we would be in a better place,” Abella said. ###PND