AFP declares 5-day ceasefire with NPA rebels in Surigao, Agusan
MANILA, Philippines – Due to the requests from the higher-ups, the Eastern Mindanao Command of the Armed Forces of the Philippines has declared a ceasefire against the New People’s Army in Surigao del Norte and Agusan del Norte.
Captain Alberto Caber, spokesman of the AFP Eastmincom, said Lieutenant General Rainier Cruz implemented a five-day suspension of military operations against the insurgents that started Sunday.
He added that the municipalities of Placer, Bacuag, Tubod, Gigakit, Claver, and Alegria in Surigao del Norte and the municipalities of Santiago, Kitcharao, and Jabonga in Agusan del Norte are all covered by the ceasefire declaration.
“The 5-day ceasefire temporarily prevents the AFP from the conduct of deliberate offensive operations against the NPA except on movements or activities aimed to support the civil authorities, government instrumentalities and other agencies in promoting peace, development and humanitarian assistance programs,” Caber said.
Governor Sol Matugas of Surigao del Norte requested the AFP Eastmincom to declare a limited ceasefire.
A skirmish between the NPA rebels and guards of a Manobo chieftain was the latest firefight that embroiled communists and government troops.
More than 70 members of the NPA engaged in a firefight with the guards of Datu Kalpit on July 15 which saw 13 of the communist rebels killed, with four dead from the Manobo side and one from the government troops that provided backup.
“Joint AFP and PNP units are working closely with the concerned local government units and other civilian stakeholders for the protection of the people and their communities from attacks, harassment and extortion activities by the CPP-NPA,” Caber said.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.