Duterte: Truce won’t stop troop movement
DAVAO CITY—President Duterte said he does not want the ceasefire with communist rebels to collapse amid concerns from leftists that government troops are still being deployed in the countryside, saying both military and rebels are not prevented by the months-long truce from moving about.
The President, in a recent interview here, said troop movement in rural areas should be seen as normal part of the security forces’ responsibility in maintaining peace and order.
“I have been very clear and categorical to them. This is the Republic of the Philippines. So the soldiers and police should be anywhere and everywhere,” he said.
But a spokesperson for New People’s Army forces in northeastern Mindanao which covers Caraga region and parts of northern Mindanao, particularly Bukidnon, had warned deployment of soldiers in these areas was a clear counterinsurgency move.
Mr. Duterte said he has directed government troops not to initiate contact with rebels to prevent armed encounters. —FRINSTON LIM
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