AFP rejects NPA call to halt Bukidnon operations
MANILA, Philippines – The Armed Forces of the Philippines on Tuesday rejected the New People’s Army’s demand to suspend military operations in Bukidnon in exchange for the release of two abducted soldiers.
Captain Alberto Caber, Eastern Mindanao Command Public Information Chief, said the Eastern Mindanao Command has maintained it would not stop its offensive on the insurgents.
Meanwhile, Lieutenant Colonel Lennon Babilonia, 8th Infantry Battalion Commander, said the joint operations of the AFP and the Philippine National Police would continue despite the NPA demand.
“Basically, we do not negotiate with the terrorist,” Babilonia said.
Allan Juanito, Communist Party of the Philippines-NPA spokesman, told the AFP to halt all military operations so they could release Privates First Class Marnel Cinches and Jerrel Yurong.
Clad in civilian clothes, the two soldiers from the 8th Infantry Battalion were abducted last August 22 while on their way to a livelihood mission on Barangay (village) Buntungon, Impasugong, Bukidnon.
Major General Aurelio Baladad ordered the military commander in the area to continue pursuit operations against the NPA rebels.
“These operations contribute to the peace and security of the people and its communities in the region,” Baladad said.
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