No truce with Reds, AFP urges Duterte
The Armed Forces of the Philippines sees no point in recommending the usual Christmas holiday truce with communist rebels this year because of the insincerity of the Communist Party of the Philippines and its New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) during previous ceasefires.
“The AFP, wishing and longing for a peaceful Yuletide season for the Filipino people notwithstanding, will not recommend to the Commander in Chief a holiday ceasefire with the communist terrorist group,” AFP spokesperson Maj. Gen. Edgard Arevalo said in a statement on Thursday.
“Many times in the past, the CTG (communist-terrorist groups) has shown it’s incapacity for sincerity and for being unfaithful to a covenant,” Arevalo noted, citing the military’s experience of the CPP-NPA reneging on previous truces by “attacking and killing soldiers on humanitarian and peace and development missions” and continuing to extort businessmen in the countryside.
Truce for regrouping
“They venture on peace talks only to give themselves the chance to regroup, refurbish, recruit new members, and recoup their losses,” the AFP spokesperson claimed, citing National Democratic Front negotiator Luis Jalandoni’s admission that the CPP-NPA pushes for peace talks to pursue its armed struggle.
Arevalo stressed, “And with these many hard lessons of the past, we will not allow them to trample upon our people’s bona fide desire for peace, not this holiday season, not until we have decisively defeated this menace to society.”
The AFP issued the statement after leftist lawmakers urged President Duterte to resume on-and-off peace talks amid a government drive to discredit leaders of the so-called national democratic movement and cut the sources of their financial support.
Mr. Duterte formally terminated the peace talks with the communist rebels through Proclamation No. 360 in November 2017. A year later, the President created the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict to address the armed conflict with the guerrillas.
Congress also approved this year Republic Act No. 11479, or the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020, which the government hopes to use against communist rebels, whom officials have tagged as terrorists.
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