The military is not inclined to recommend to President Rodrigo Duterte to suspend the military offensive operations against the communist rebels this holiday season.
This is despite the Communist Party of the Philippines’ (CPP) declaration of a five-day unilateral ceasefire with government forces in observance of the holiday season and its 50th founding anniversary.
The CPP’s unilateral truce is slated to begin from 12:01 a.m. of December 24 until 11:59 p.m. of December 26 and from 12:01 a.m. of December 31 until 11:59 p.m. of January 1, 2019.
According to Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesperson Brigadier General Edgard Arevalo, the government side will not reciprocate the rebels’ gesture.
This is the first time that the AFP is not even contemplating a cessation of hostilities with the communist rebels for the holiday season.
“If the AFP is going to be asked, we are not inclined to recommend the said suspension of military operations (SOMO). We see that in the past they have not been sincere with any suspension of military operations. They continued with their terroristic and criminal activities, extortion, harassment etc.,” Arevalo said.
He added that they will not allow the rebels the chance to regroup and even celebrate their founding anniversary.
“Experience have shown us that it’s not worth it and ikalawa ang sinasabi natin magsi celebrate sila ng 50th anniversary this year. So, we will not want to give them that leeway,” Arevalo said.
The departments of national defense and the interior and local government also rejected the ceasefire.
The AFP has directed its troops to stay on alert for any attacks that may possibly be staged by the communist rebels.
“Heightened pa rin ang preparation ng ating armed forces the way we do. Especially alam natin na meron silang ganitong activities,” Arevalo said.
President Rodrigo Duterte has yet to approve the AFP’s recommendation not to implement a suspension of military operations with the CPP-NPA this December. — Lea Ylagan | UNTV News & Rescue