AFP thanks Duterte for rejecting holiday truce with reds
MANILA, Philippines — The Armed Forces of the Philippines on Tuesday thanked President Rodrigo Duterte for “heeding a recommendation” to reject a holiday ceasefire between security forces and New People’s Army, the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines.
Duterte said during his weekly address on Monday night that there will be no more ceasefire for the rest of his term.
“There will be no more ceasefire ever again under my term ko pagka-Presidente. For all intents and purposes, ‘yung ceasefire is dead,” he said.
While the military welcomed Duterte’s decision, AFP spokesperson Maj. Gen. Edgard Arevalo said it was “not because we do not want peace, but because what we advocate is a genuine and lasting peace that we cannot achieve through a peace pact with the NPA that is notoriously insincere and unworthy of public trust.”
The AFP said last week it would not recommend to the President a ceasefire with the communist rebels for the holidays. The government and NPA had been traditionally declaring ceasefires during the Christmas season.
But just a few days ago, Duterte expressed support for United Nations Secretary General Antonio Gurterres’ call for a global ceasefire on armed conflicts to focus on COVID-19 response.
“The Secretary General’s report for global ceasefire is most welcome and appreciated…. In my country, this fight is about protecting life, while preserving the democratic values we have restored without violence,” he said in a taped message to a special session of the UN General Assembly.
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