No Christmas truce with commies – AFP
There will be no unilateral Chrismas truce with the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) despite calls by sympathetic groups to have one.
Col. Edgard Arevalo, chief of public affairs office of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), stressed this yesterday, noting the CPP-NPA has been declared as a terrorist organization by President Rodrigo Duterte.
Duterte had warned the CPP-NPA’s financial supporters that they would be treated the same way if they would not stop.
The military last halted its military operations against the NPA between Dec. 23 to 27, 2016 and between Dec. 31, 2017 to Jan.2, 2017.
Arevalo said both the President, who is the commander-in-chief, and Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana did not want a ceasefire with communist rebels.
He said the Maoist-inspired group has continued to terrorize the countryside and attack military and police detachments in the country.
“The AFP supports the wisdom and wise discretion of the Commander-in-Chief (Commander-in-Chief, President Rodrigo Duterte),” Arevalo said.
He said that Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana had made a similar announcement of his position on the matter.
The CPP-NPA earlier vowed to intensify attacks against military targets in the wake of Proclamation 360 which terminated the government’s peace negotiations with the latter.
Duterte recently signed a proclamation that included the CPP-NPA on the list of terrorist groups in the country under the provisions of Republic Act No. 10168, otherwise known as the Human Security Act.
The US State Department has long considered the NPA as a terrorist group. It said the NPA as formed in 1969 with 6,000 regular fighters who wanted to overthrow the government through protracted guerrilla warfare.
Records showed the CPP-NPA had claimed having killed three American soldiers in four separate attacks in Angeles City in 1987.
The CPP-NPA also took credit for the ambush and murder of Col. James Nicholas Rowe, then chief of the Ground Forces Division of the Joint US-Military Advisory Group in 1989.
The CPP was formed in 1968 as a clandestine political organization whose main objective was to overthrow the government. On the other hand, the NPA, has some 6,000 regular fighters and has been engaged in a conflict that has claimed nearly 30,000 lives in the past decades.#