MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Army is accusing the New People’s Army (NPA) — the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) — of violating the ceasefire agreement following reported attacks on government troops this week.
Philippine Army Commanding General Lt. Gen. Gilbert Gapay called the attacks “senseless” and slammed its timing when the nation is celebrating the holiday season.
The Philippine government and the CPP declared a ceasefire beginning midnight on December 23, 2019 until January 7, 2020 as part of the possible resumption of the stalled peace talks between the two parties.
“We are one with the government and the people’s desire to a just and lasting peace in the entire country. In light of this development, other means of peaceful resolution such as localized peace talks need to be considered,” Gapay said in a statement
“We just hope that the CPP-NPA will not miss this opportunity by staging these senseless attacks, especially during a time when the nation celebrates the season of love, peace and unity,” he added.
The Army chief said separate attacks believed to have been perpetrated by the NPA were launched in Camarines Norte and in Iloilo just after the declaration of holiday ceasefire.
He said troops belonging to the 92nd Division Reconnaissance Company in Labo, Camarines Norte were on their way back to their base in observance of the Suspension of Military Operations when they were ambushed.
Minutes later, a police patrol vehicle was attacked using improvised explosive device in Tubungan, Iloilo.
The attacks left one soldier dead, and eight other security forces injured.
The CPP and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines earlier insisted they have not violated the ceasefire deal, and assured to check the veracity of the reports on the supposed ceasefire violations.
MANILA, Philippines – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) noted two incidents that violated the ongoing truce between government forces and the Communist Party of the Philippines – New People’s Army (CPP-NPA), just a day after the two sides agreed of the holiday ceasefire.
About 9:20 AM on Tuesday (December 24), an anti-personnel landmine exploded at Barangay Singon, Tubungan in Iloilo City where several members of the Iloilo Police Mobile Force Company were injured.
Minutes after, an ambush against AFP personnel happened at the border of Maguiway, Tagcawayan, Quezon, and Labo in the vicinity of Camarines Norte where one soldier was killed and six others wounded.
“These violations will be taken noted of and at least to the eyes of our countrymen. Makikita nila na ang ating mga sundalo ay tumutupad sa umiiral na ceasefire (They can prove that our soldiers are complying with the ongoing ceasefire),” noted AFP Spokesperson B.Gen. Edgard Arevalo.
“These violations on the other side is their responsibility. Pananagutan nila ito sa sambayanang Pilipino (They will be accountable to the Filipino people),” Arevalo added.
The AFP will submit a written report on the incident as ordered by the Department of National Defense (DND) which will be submitted to President Rodrigo Duterte.
The AFP, meanwhile, leaves it to the President as to what to do with the ceasefire declaration in relation to the impending resumption of the peace talks with the communist group – MNP (with details from Dante Amento)
MANILA, Philippines – The Presidential Security Group (PSG) on Wednesday assured that President Rodrigo Duterte is safe and secure from any threat from the communist rebels.
The PSG issued the statement following reports that Duterte was allegedly included in the hit list of the New People’s Army (NPA).
“We expect that the President is number one on their list. So as to the preparations and heightening of our security procedures, amin na lang yun. But rest assured, we are doing something to protect the president,” PSG commander Brigadier General Jose Niembra told reporters.
On Tuesday, National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon revealed they have received reports on the alleged assassination plans of the Communist Party of the Philippines-NPA against Duterte and other government officials ahead of the group’s founding anniversary on December 26.
He advised law enforcement and security forces in the country to take countermeasures against the possible threat.
Niembra said the PSG is taking seriously any matter related to the chief executive’s security.
“It’s not a joking matter because it’s the survival of the president and the country as well,” he said.
Duterte earlier ordered the military to crush the criminals and terrorists, including the NPA, following the reported assassination plot against him. – RRD (with details from Rosalie Coz)
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