MANILA, February 2, 2017 (PNA) — The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) today announced that the suspension of military operations (SOMO) stays despite the announcement of the New People’s Army (NPA) that it had ended its own unilateral ceasefire ten days early.
“The SOMO stays. There will be no combat operations to be launched against the members of the NPA,” AFP public affairs office chief Colonel Edgard Arevalo said.
“We will continue to perform peace-building and development efforts where the people in conflict areas request us to. We will continue to capacitate local government to deliver basic goods and services to their constituents,” he added.
Arevalo said the AFP will continue to safeguard the communities “from criminal acts of extortion, burning of vehicles, farm and livelihood implements and other forms of criminal and atrocious acts – whoever the perpetrator is.”
“And if ordered by the Commander-in-Chief, we will lift the SOMO. It is our beholden duty to protect our citizens,” he added. (Priam F. Nepomuceno/PNA)