Rebels seek alliance for coup

Communist guerrillas in the Philippines have said they are open to joining forces with disaffected military and police units to topple Gloria Arroyo, the country's president.

    The NPA has been ordered to 'intensify guerrilla warfare'

    The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), which rejected a Christmas ceasefire with the government after peace talks collapsed, also said seizing power remained its ultimate goal.

     

    In a statement issued on the eve of its 37th anniversary, the CPP said it had ordered its 8000-member New People's Army (NPA) to "intensify guerrilla warfare on a nationwide scale".

     

    In September, Arroyo was politically weakened after the communists rebuffed her peace offer.

     

    Arroyo, however, overcame an impeachment vote in parliament, arising from opposition allegations that she cheated her way to victory in the presidential election in 2004.

     

    Rumours of a coup plot by military and police officers swept the capital earlier this month and a retired general was arrested on sedition charges.

     

    Entering an alliance

     

    Arroyo overcame an impeach-
    ment vote in parliament

     

    The CPP central committee said: "At the appropriate time, the party would be willing to openly enter an alliance that includes the anti-Arroyo military and police forces not only for the purpose of ousting the Arroyo regime but also for the purpose of resuming the peace negotiations."

     

    The rebels said they were approaching the final year of a three-year plan to build up the weaponry and fighting skills of the NPA, which the statement said now "operates in more than 100 guerrilla fronts" in most of the country's 79 provinces.

     

    Three evils

     

    Raids and ambushes by the rebels forced government troops "to take defensive positions and divide [their] forces by guarding [their] own fixed positions, supply and transport lines, vital installations, depots and enterprises".

     

    The central committee said it the NPA would shortly achieve armed parity with the military.

     

    The CPP, however, said that if the opposition succeeded in overthrowing Arroyo, it "would be willing to resume the peace negotiations with the [new government] and to propose truce and alliance for the purpose of confronting the three evils of foreign monopoly, capitalism, domestic feudalism, and bureaucrat capitalism".

    SOURCE: AFP


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    Explore how your country voted on global issues since 1946, as the world gears up for the 74th UN General Assembly.

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    We dialled more than 35,000 random phone numbers to paint an accurate picture of displacement across South Sudan.

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Meet the man on a mission to take down Cambodia's timber tycoons and expose a rampant illegal cross-border trade.