Duterte rejects NPA explanation on ambush

Duterte rejects NPA explanation on ambush

Gives 5 p.m. ultimatum to respond to ceasefire 

- in News

President Rodrigo Duterte is not buying the explanation of the New People’s Army (NPA) on the ambush it staged on a Civilian Auxiliary Force Geographical Unit (CAFGU) in Kapalong, Davao del Norte on July 27 that resulted in the death of one militiaman and four others.

Instead, Duterte gave the rebels until 5 p.m. on Saturday (July 30) to respond to the unilateral ceasefire declared by government.

“I will wait for that declaration alas singko din ng hapon. If I do not get a word from you then I will lift the order of ceasefire. I cannot withdraw the police from the mountain,” a visibly irked Duterte said.

“‘Di ko kayo tinatakot. Kung ayaw ninyo (I am not threatening you. If you don’t want peace), we will fight for another generation.” the President said at a press conference in Asuncion, Davao del Norte.

He had gone to the area to talk with the family of slain CAFGU member Panggong Komanod.

“I dealt with you in good faith. You tell me if you are not ready to deal in the same manner,” he added.

The NPA had issued a statement on Friday afternoon explaining the ambush.

Aris Francisco, spokesperson of the NPA’s Comval North Davao South Agusan Subregional Command, said it staged the ambush on the CAFGU unit to thwart an offensive the military and the paramilitary group were about to stage.

Read: NPA gives side on Kapalong ambush

During his State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 25, Duterte declared a unilateral ceasefire with the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP)-National Democratic Front (NDF)-NPA as a sign of the government’s goodwill towards the realization of a peace agreement with the rebels.

Duterte said he expected that the NPA will also reciprocate him imploring for peace with a ceasefire on their side.

The CPP/NPA/NDF, for its part, went on alert and defense mode after the President declared a unilateral ceasefire.

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