AFP: No ‘all-out war’ plan vs. NPA

The government is not planning an all-out-war against the New People’s Army (NPA), Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesperson Col. Edgard Arevalo said Monday.

He made this pronouncement when sought for a comment on the Communist Party of the Philippines’ (CPP) claims that the planned June 28 resumption of peace negotiations was cancelled due to supposed AFP offensives against the NPA.

“Wala pong planong all-out-war. What we want now is all-out peace sapagkat lahat po ng efforts ng ating pamahalaan ay sinusuportahan ng Sandatahang Lakas ng Pilipinas upang ito ay matuloy,” Arevalo stressed.

The CPP earlier claimed that the cancellation of the talks has the goal of allowing the military to launch bigger offensives with hopes of crippling the NPA within the year.

Also, Arevalo denied claims that they are out to spoil the peace talks and that President Rodrigo Duterte is just complying blindly with AFP recommendations on the proposed negotiations.

“Our President is a considerate Commander-in-Chief by consulting the Armed Forces. [This] does not [mean] that he is beholden to the Armed Forces. By consulting the Armed Forces over security matters kagaya ng peace talks is [nothing] but natural because besides, apart from saying that security is a public concern, well, security matters are matters within the ambit and knowledge of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. That is why we saw it and [understood] that this is just but necessary and natural for the Commander-in-Chief to do that,” the AFP spokesperson stressed.

Duterte earlier cancelled the resumption of the peace talks with the CPP to allow the public to engage more in the peace process. PNA