Armed Forces not keen on Yuletide truce with Reds

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is not inclined to recommend any truce with the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) this holiday season, noting that the communist terrorists have been demonstrating insincerity in previous agreements.

“The AFP — wishing and longing for a peaceful Yuletide Season for the Filipino people notwithstanding — will not recommend to the Commander-in-Chief (President Rodrigo Duterte) a holiday ceasefire with the Communist Terrorist Group (CTG),” AFP spokesperson Marine Major Gen. Edgard Arevalo said in a press statement on Thursday.

This is because the CPP-NPA, as proven by the AFP’s experiences in past Yuletide ceasefire agreements, have demonstrated their insincerity and unwillingness to comply with an agreement they have signed with the government.

“This was the AFP’s painful experience where the CTG reneged from their own ceasefire declaration by attacking and killing soldiers on humanitarian and peace and development missions,” said Arevalo, who is also AFP Education, Training and Doctrine Command (AFPETDC) commander.

Despite the incumbency of a truce, these terrorists also continued their extortion activities and committed crimes of murder, arson, and the likes, he added.

Arevalo said the CPP-NPA will only seek peace talks only to give themselves the chance to regroup, refurbish, recruit new members, and recoup their losses.

“Luis Jalandoni, an NDF (National Democratic Front) negotiator, boldly declared that they push for peace negotiations not really to bring about tranquility, but to pursue armed struggle. They broker peace covenants as a means to an end which is to overthrow the government,” he added.

Considering these many hard lessons of the past, Arevalo said they will not allow CPP-NPA to trample upon the Filipinos’ bonafide desire for peace and continues to be firm in their desire to defeat the movement which they describe as a menace to society.

“Amidst this strong position, AFP Chief General Gilbert Gapay assures the President of the AFP’s support to whatever decision the Commander-in-Child makes in the exercise of his prerogatives,” said Arevalo, who is also the spokesperson of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF ELCAC) Peace, Law Enforcement, Development and Security (PLEDS) Cluster.

The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. PNA.GOV.PH