AFP backs renewed peace talks with ‘Reds’

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The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) supports the decision of the government to continue talking peace with the National Democratic Front, Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla, the military’s spokesman, said on Sunday.

“The AFP has time and again expressed its unequivocal support to all peace initiatives undertaken by our government past and present. We also have a proven track record of being an able and reliable partner in all the peace talks undertaken by our country,” Padilla said.

The twopanels announced the resumption of peace talks on Sunday following the holding of back-channel talks in Utrecht on March 10 and 11.

“We share the Commander-in-Chief’s aspiration to attain a just and lasting peace for our country and will do all we can to deliver on this for the benefit of all our citizens specially in conflict affected areas,” Padilla said.

However, until the military receives an official message and instruction from the Chief Executive, all military operations against the New People’s Army will continue, he said.

“We will anxiously await the official message of our panel and the instructions of our Commander-in-Chief. Pending this, all military operations will continue and remain at current state,” Padilla said.

Duterte ordered the lifting of the unilateral ceasefire against the rebels on Feb. 4 following a series of NPA attacks on government troops. Last week, when he attended the wake for four police officers killed by NPA rebels in Davao del Sur, the President directed the military and the police to wage war against communist rebels.

“I will allow the police and the military this time to use all available assets. Airplanes, jets, rocket, use them,” he said.

PNA

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