Mobile phones and easy access to social media through smartphones would make it difficult for the New People’s Army (NPA) to revive the glory days of its popular hitman’s group in the 1980s.
Director General Ronald dela Rosa, chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP), said that technology has indeed worked in favor of the PNP in terms of law enforcement and anti-insurgency operations in urban areas.
The official said that the NPA’s hitman’s group, the Special Partisan Armed Revolutionary Unit (SPARU), has succeeded in the 1980s since the rebel’s allies in urban areas easily controlled the slum areas where the rebel assassins would usually hide before and after a hit on policeman or soldier.
“It would be difficult for them now because unlike in the 1980s when they would easily control the masses and slum areas, it is just one text away to the authorities so they could not control anymore one particular place in urban areas,” said Dela Rosa.
Before, any civilian with anti-communist mindset would still go to the police station or look for landline or payphones to tip the authorities of rebel presence.
But now Dela Rosa said any civilian could be a police tipster by secretly texting or even take photos or videos of suspicious people in their communities.
The NPA has reportedly stepped up its operations after President Duterte cancelled the peace talks and even sought for a terror tag on the group.
Part of the intensified operations is reportedly the plan to revive the SPARU units in urban areas.
“They really stepped up but then again sorry because it would be very difficult for them now,” said Dela Rosa.
The official, however, said that they will not take the threat lightly as they are now undertaking measures to equip every policeman with a knowledge on how to secure themselves from being victims of assassination of communist rebels. (Aaron Recuenco)