Lorenzana on NPA ‘kill list’: Why wasn’t I included

Credit to Author: The Manila Times| Date: Thu, 05 Dec 2019 08:34:25 +0000

AS authorities expressed alarm over the alleged “kill list” by the Communist Party of the Philippines, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana asked why he was not included.

In a chance interview on Thursday at Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City, Lorenzana said the list may have been retrieved by intelligence operatives of the Philippine National Police (PNP), but assured the media that the military was validating the information.

“I asked this question, why was I not included [on the list]?” the Defense chief quipped and laughed.

“There is no harm in being careful. [Nevertheless], it is very alarming that they want to hit the high-ranking officers,” he said.

Maj. Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr., the military’s deputy chief of staff for civil-military operations and staunch critic of Left-leaning groups, revealed on Wednesday the alleged “kill list” by the CPP and the New People’s Army (NPA), specifically, by its Special Partisan Unit (SPARU or Sparrow).

Parlade claimed that Interior Secretary Eduardo Año, National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. and National Commission on Indigenous Peoples Chairman Allen Capuyan were the “targets”.

Año, Esperon and Capuyan are all retired military officers. Año and Esperon are both former military chiefs of staff who served the administrations of President Rodrigo Duterte and former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Lorenzana said the NPA’s “Sparrow” unit has no presence in Metro Manila and other urban areas but maintained its presence in provincial areas by killing soldiers and policemen.

Lorenzana said it was important for authorities to take the list “seriously” by providing security to high officials, including Año, Capuyan and Esperon.

Asked if he found the list credible, Lorenzana said in a text message later in the day: “I am not fully conversant of this list, how, where and when it was obtained. But whether credible or not, it is wise to be careful.” DEMPSEY REYES