Lorenzana: NPA took advantage of ceasefire to recruit members
The New People’s Army (NPA) has taken advantage of the unilateral ceasefire to recruit more members, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said Tuesday.
“Noong nag-ceasefire tayo, meron silang surge ng mga recruitment (When we had a ceasefire, they had a surge of recruits). That’s what we heard from our people on the ground,” Lorenzana told reporters in a Palace briefing.
The defense chief confirmed that the communist rebels also took advantage of the peace process.
“Yes, they use that. It is true. It was proven in Davao, in Davao Oriental, talagang ganoon ang ginawa nila (that’s really what they’re doing). We get a lot of text from the tribal leaders [saying], nandito iniipon kami in the guise of talking about the peace process but iyon pala ang mga NPA pala ang kaharap nila, hindi naman military (we’re being gathered here in the guise of talking about the peace process but it was the NPA who faced them, not the military),” he said.
President Rodrigo Duterte declared a unilateral ceasefire in August 2016, which was reciprocated by the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF).
But on February 3, Duterte withdrew the ceasefire on the part of the government, slamming the rebels for allegedly killing state forces. JE/rga
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