AFP, PNP suspends ops vs CPP-NPA as Pres. Duterte declares ceasefire
Maris Federez • December 23, 2019 • 850
MANILA, Philippines — The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) have suspended their offensive operations against the Communist Party of the Philippines-New Peoples Army (CPP-NPA).
This, after President Rodrigo Roa Duterte signed the ceasefire agreement between the national government and the communist group for the holiday season.
Department of National Defense Sec. Delfin Lorenzana said the military will immediately implement the Suspension of Military Operations (SOMO) in accordance with the order of the commander-in-chief despite the red alert status that the AFP has raised in line with the communist group’s celebration of its 51st anniversary on December 26.
Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Sec. Eduardo M. Año, on the part of the police, said: “it is the prerogative of the President, as commander-in-chief, to declare a unilateral ceasefire for the Christmas season and we abide by his decision.”
Año has also directed the Philippine National Police (PNP) to comply and to issue appropriate orders to all units in the field.
“While we remain vigilant and take a strong defensive stance, this will also give an opportunity for our policemen and soldiers in the field to spend a meaningful celebration of Christmas with their families,” the DILG chief said.
On Sunday (Dec. 22) PNP officer-in-charge PLtGen. Archie Francisco Gamboa issued a memorandum on the agency’s implementation of Suspension of Police Operations (SOPO) amid their full alert status.
PNP Spokesman Police B/Gen. Bernard Banac said that with this directive, the PNP will not conduct offensive activities from December 23 to January 7.
Año hopes that the rebel group will make use of the ceasefire as an opportunity “for them to surrender, avail of the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Community Integration Program (ECLIP), rejoin mainstream society, and start a new life together with their families”. — (with details from Lea Ylagan) /mbmf
MANILA, Philippines – More than 1,000 members of police search and rescue teams have been deployed to assist in areas heavily battered by Typhoon Quinta, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said Monday.
PNP chief General Camilo Cascolan said the search and rescue teams will particularly help local government units in the implementation of forced evacuation in regions severely affected by the typhoon, as well as in areas highly susceptible to landslide and floods following heavy rains.
“We also have to re-echo the directive that we should be able to force evacuate those who are in high risk areas, most specially for flooding,” Cascolan said.
The PNP chief also ordered the deployment of additional 200 policemen to monitor residential areas whose homeowners were forced to evacuate due to the storm.
“We have policemen guarding these areas to prevent looting incidents from happening in those residences,” Cascolan said.
He added that more than 6,000 more police officers are on stand by for deployment.
Cascolan said he has also ordered police ground commanders to help in the distribution of food packs to families in evacuation centers through the PNP’s Food Bank program.
Typhoon Quinta caused flooding in some areas and forced thousands of residents to flee their homes.
Around 12 fishermen were also reported missing in Catanduanes.
The state weather bureau said the storm is expected to exit the Philippine area of responsibility on Tuesday morning. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Lea Ylagan)
MANILA, Philippines — The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has activated all its disaster response units to help in the relief efforts along the path of Typhoon Quinta.
In a statement on Sunday, AFP Spokesperson Marine Maj. Gen. Edgard Arevalo announced that AFP Chief-of-Staff, General Gilbert Gapay ordered all units to be prepared for deployment and assist local government units and other relevant agencies in any event of preventive or forced evacuation.
Arevalo added that the AFPCS has also directed all ground commanders in areas along the path of the typhoon to exercise all precautionary measures necessary to ensure the safety of military personnel and equipment including aircraft, ships and other key assets.
Arevalo hopes that all affected residents will heed calls for evacuation and take advantage of the AFP assistance ahead and at the onset of the weather disturbance. MNP / Julie Anne Gernale
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