Military operations vs NPA to continue on Holy Week

THE ARMED Forces of the Philippines (AFP) will be on high alert against any attacks that may be perpetrated by the New People’s Army during the long holiday to mark the Catholic tradition of Lent.

Lt. Col. Emmanuel Garcia, the spokesperson of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), said they are awaiting the declaration of suspension of military operations (Somo) from the higher-ups.

“The AFP has yet to receive orders to suspend offensive military operations against the NPA,” Garcia said.

The military received word that the NPA leadership in some areas in Mindanao are open to a ceasefire but not until the AFP declares a Somo. Garcia said this could just be a ploy so they could buy time to recruit new members, reconstitute their forces and extort money.

The NPA anniversary falls on March 29, a Maundy Thursday. And he said that the anniversary of the Communist guerrilla group has always been marked by violent attacks against government forces.

“The CPP-NPA-NDF can show their sincerity by doing the right thing by stopping all forms of violent activities and atrocities against the people all year round,” he said.

He also said the declaration is suspicious as it was only announced by an alleged spokesman of a guerrilla covering less than a province; and was merely signed by someone from one of their regional organs.

“We call on our people to be wary of the pattern of deception of the communist NPA terrorists, to be proactive, and to be part of the conscious effort to deny them of the chance to regain strength,” he further said.

“Whatever the decision of the political leadership, the AFP will follow legally mandated orders,” he added.


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