Lorezana blasts CPP-NPA as real ‘peace spoilers’
MANILA, Philippines — Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana hit back Monday at the communist rebels whom he called as the real “peace spoilers.”
Lorenzana issued the statement a day after the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front of the Philippines (CPP-NPA-NDF) aborted its scheduled assembly in Surigao del Sur due to the swarming of Army soldiers in the area.
“So they have a plenum? Go ahead. Our troops are not prohibited from doing their other duties such as law enforcement and assisting the local populace,” Lorenzana said after learning about the assembly.
The government and the CPP separately declared a ceasefire from December 22 to January 7.
“What the ceasefire prohibits them from doing is to engage the NPA in combat. Our troops will, however, react in self-defense,” Lorenzana said.
Ka Oto, spokesperson of New People’s Army (NPA) Front 16 Northeastern Mindanao Regional Command, accused the Armed Forces of the Philippines as an unwilling party to the ceasefire.
“Look who is talking! They, members of the terrorist CPP-NPA, are the peace spoilers. They prostituted and violated every ceasefire that has been declared,” Lorenzana said.
“If there is any group that has faithfully and dutifully observed ceasefires, that is us. Even if soldiers were treacherously attacked by these criminals and extortionists during a humanitarian mission, they abided by the truce,” he added.
The defense chief said the CPP-NPA has “proved to be a band of recidivists and habitual offenders to peace talks who prompted President Duterte to cancel an ongoing peace negotiation in November 2017.”
He cited that “just a few hours after their unilateral declaration of a Ceasefire on 23 December 2019, these terrorists in Camarines Norte ambushed a team of soldiers who were on their way back to camp following the DND-AFP’s directive to suspend all offensive military operations.”
A soldier was killed and 6 others were wounded, he said, adding that this happened after “NPA members blasted an anti-personnel landmine on unwitting policemen returning to station also from an operation halted by the ceasefire.”
“Undeniably, the CPP-NPA is the party against ceasefires,” he said.
Edited by JE
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