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DND: Gov’t to continue ceasefire with NPA

/ 03:27 PM February 01, 2017
New People’s Army guerrillas stand in formation in a guerrilla camp somewhere in the Sierra Madre mountain range after a clandestine press conference in November. —CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

New People’s Army guerrillas stand in formation in a guerrilla camp somewhere in the Sierra Madre mountain range after a clandestine press conference in November. —CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Despite the declaration of the New People’s Army to terminate their unilateral ceasefire, the military will continue to implement its own ceasefire.

“The DND [Department of National Defense] will continue to enforce the government’s unilateral ceasefire and the AFP [Armed Forces of the Philippines] will not actively operate against the NPA while our ceasefire is in effect,” Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said on Wednesday.

“It’s up to them. It will not affect the AFP. Anyway, despite their declared ceasefire, they have not stopped extorting under the guise of their so-called revolutionary taxation, went on recruiting, burning buses and equipment, ambushing and kidnapping soldiers,” Lorenzana said.

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The NPA said earlier in the day that the termination of ceasefire will be effective Feb. 10 because the government failed to release political prisoners and the military also continued to operate in their “areas.”

READ: Communist rebels to terminate unilateral ceasefire

They clarified that they remain supportive of the peace negotiations, which will be on its third round later this month in the Netherlands.

The military reported several incidents of abduction, extortion and ambush supposedly done by the NPA since Sunday.

The government and communists declared their own unilateral ceasefire last August. It was broken after a firefight in Makilala, North Cotabato last week, which left one rebel dead.

READ: Duterte declares ceasefire with CPP-NPA, tells troops to abide by order

Lorenzana said they will continue to go after “lawless elements” to maintain peace and order.

“We do not recognize any areas under NPA control nor are they allowed to roam around with their firearms intimidating people,” he added.

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The government peace panel also expressed its dismay with the announcement of the NPA but said they respected their decision.

“We will respectfully recommend to President Rodrigo R. Duterte that the government continues to maintain and uphold the unilateral ceasefire to sustain the peace in the communities where our people desire to live in peace,” peace adviser Jesus Dureza said in a statement. JE

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TAGS: AFP, Ceasefire, communist, Delfin Lorenzana, Department of National Defense, Military, New People’s Army, NPA, unilateral ceasefire
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