MANILA, February 1, 2017 (PNA) — The decision of the New People’s Army (NPA) to lift its unilateral ceasefire will have no effect on the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said today.
“If the CPP-NPA (Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army) will terminate or stop their unilateral ceasefire it is up to them. It will not affect the AFP. Anyway, despite their declared ceasefire, they have not stopped extorting under the guise of their so-called revolutionary taxation, went on recruiting, burning buses and equipment, ambushing and kidnapping soldiers,” Lorenzana added.
He said pending instructions from President Rodrigo Duterte, the Department of National Defense (DND) will continue to enforce the government’s unilateral ceasefire.
“Our troops will not actively operate against the NPA while our ceasefire is in effect. However, it will continue to maintain peace and order and run after lawless elements whoever they are. We do not recognize any areas under NPA control nor are they allowed to roam around with their firearms intimidating people,” Lorenzana said.
NPA spokesperson Ka Oris had issued a statement earlier today saying the group has terminated the unilateral ceasefire it declared in August last year, ten days before its supposed end on February 10, 2017 at 11:59 p.m.
“The August 28, 2016 unilateral declaration of interim ceasefire issued by the Central Committee of the CPP (CPP-CC) and the National Operations Command of the New People’s Army (NPA-NOC) is hereby terminated,” he said.
“From today (Feb. 1, 2017) until the expiration of the ceasefire declaration, all commands and units of the NPA, including the people’s militia and self-defense corps, are tasked to take initiative and more vigorously carry out active defense in order to defend the people and revolutionary forces,” he added. (Priam F. Nepomuceno/PNA)