Lorenzana not inclined to declare holiday truce with communist rebels
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said Tuesday he won’t likely recommend a holiday truce with communist rebels after the latter declared stepped up offensive operations against government forces.
“No, I will not. Because there was an order by their commanders to intensify operations against us. So kung mag SOMO [suspension of military operations] kami (if we do a SOMO), we will stand down and they will attack us again,” he told reporters on the sidelines of the full council meeting of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council when asked if he will recommend a ceasefire this holiday season.
During a SOMO, government forces refrain from offensive operations but remain on guard for attacks.
The SOMO had been a tradition of both sides during the Christmas holidays but on different duration; Lorenzana said however, “We can always break a tradition.”
But the defense chief said while he is inclined not to recommend ceasefire as of the moment, he could still change his tune.
“As of today I’m not inclined to recommend SOMO; some situations may arise that could change my recommendation,” he said.
President Rodrigo Duterte recently declared the termination of peace talks with communist rebels following the successive attacks of communist rebels.
He also announced plans to issue an official declaration tagging the Communist Party of the Philippines-National Democratic Front-New People’s Army. /je
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