Manila, Philippines — Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Tuesday, 10 December 2019, said he is not inclined to recommend to President Rodrigo Duterte a ceasefire with the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (NPA) during the holiday season.
In a prepared statement, the defense Secretary said he has no plans at recommending a ceasefire with the CPP-NPA even as President Rodrigo Duterte expressed his desire to reopen peace talks with the communist group.
However, Lorenzana failed to elaborate on the reason why the DND seems uninterested at implementing a ceasefire during the holidays with the communist rebel group.
Meanwhile, AFP Spokesperson in Brig. Gen. Edgard Arevalo made it clear that they stand and are bound to respect whatever will be the President Duterte’s decision as Commander-in-Chief on the matter, their offensive against the rebels will continue at the moment.
Arevalo emphasized that they are not opposed to holding of peace talks as it is necessary for national progress but the communist group he said should be sincere this time around.
The AFP spokesman also revealed that every time a peace negotiation gets underway, the CPP-NPA take it as an opportunity for them to strengthen their ranks.
According to the AFP, while the talks are ongoing, the rebels exploit the issue of peace talks to recruit the youth.
There was a time too he said the government declared a ceasefire with the CPP-NPA but the latter accordingly reneged on the agreement and instead intensified its offensive by staging ambushes, attacking police stations and military detachments, extortion, and arson; attacked private establishments, burning of heavy construction equipment and more. (Marian Sinamban/IAMIGO/CNS)