• Duterte to AFP: Get ready to fight Reds

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    PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte on Friday ordered the military to prepare for war as he announced the lifting of the government’s unilateral ceasefire with communist rebels.

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    PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte

    The announcement came two days after the New People’s Army (NPA), the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), announced that it would end its own truce on February 10, and amid claims from both sides of ceasefire violations.

    In remarks in North Cotabato, Duterte said he had informed Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff General Eduardo Año of his decision to end the ceasefire with the rebel group after a series of clashes in the past weeks.

    “Suddenly, the other day, they said, they’re breaking off and they’re abandoning their unilateral ceasefire. I followed…Last night, I decided, I called General Año, and I said, I am lifting the ceasefire tonight. No more ceasefire,” the President said.

    Duterte said a “peaceful generation” could not be achieved with the lifting of the unilateral ceasefire.

    “I guess that peace with the communists cannot be realized during our generation many years from now. I don’t want killings, but if my soldiers are dying, let’s resume war, anytime,” the President said.

    “If they say, on February 10, there will be an ambush in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, sorry. So I would really like to express my sadness, we cannot have a peaceful generation. There will always be a fight,” he added.

    On Wednesday, the NPA accused the military of abuses, such as encroaching upon civilian facilities and rebel-held areas. They are also demanding the release of over 400 detained comrades.

    Duterte reiterated that he tried his best to reconcile with the communists, but said the NPA had so many “unreasonable demands.”

    “I tried my best to initiate, went out of my way to release as many leaders, who are there in Oslo (Norway) for peace talks. There is this demand to release 400 [detained rebels]. It’s like I have granted amnesty,” he said.

    “I do not own the Republic of the Philippines. Though I’m the number one, I do not decide alone. I consult people, particularly, the military and police,” the President added.

    Despite the end of the ceasefire, the CPP and NPA have assured that they would still support the peace process, which was re-started in August 2016 or three years after they were terminated by the previous Aquino administration.

    But the President expressed doubt that firefights between government forces and the communist rebels would end soon.

    “I tried my best, but I guess it wasn’t good enough. There will be no peace in this land vis-a-vis with the Communist Party. Let’s resume war, take your position and be alert. And to the nation, I said I really tried. But the demands are just too huge that it is impossible to meet or work out a compromise,” Duterte said.

    “I’ve lost so many soldiers in just 48 hours, I think to continue with the ceasefire will not produce anything. Therefore I am asking the soldiers go back to your camps, clean your rifles and get ready to fight,” he added.

    AFP: 6 dead in NPA attacks

    The AFP on Friday welcomed the President’s decision to lift the ceasefire with the communists.

    “We shall abide by the President’s order of ending the unilateral ceasefire. It is unfortunate that the gains of the last six months would come to a halt because the CPP-NPA again resorted to the use of violence and chose arms to advance their interests,” Año, the AFP chief, said in a statement.

    “The last four days were disdainful and disturbing. While [chief communist negotiator]Fidel Agcaoili was assuring the public through media that [the National Democratic Front], CPP and NPA will continue the unilateral ceasefire, the CPP-NPA were attacking our soldiers who were doing community support and development work,” he added.

    Año said the attacks resulted in the deaths of 2nd Lt. Miguel Victor Alejo and five other soldiers, as well as the abduction of three others.

    “We welcome the pronouncement of the President because the AFP has to do its mandate of protecting the people, securing the community and taking care of our own soldiers too. We will go after the NPA to prevent them from conducting atrocities and criminal activities against the public,” the AFP chief said.

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    6 Comments

    1. Even those so-called “modified communists countries” (i.e. Russia, China) are still engaged in an undemocratic way of governance. They still practice their communistic way of government that cannot be trusted. Do not fall for their “Cut and bait” tactics. Just my two cents!!!!

    2. Ptimary duty of any administration running GRP is to protect and defend the state at any cost against its enemies, local or not. These yellow commies are just bunch of well-paid and spoiled tulisanes like MILF, Abu Sayyaf, etc.

    3. It is a pity this endeavor that started with affectionate hugs and warm handshakes and with so much confidence and optimism has now turned into a heated exchange of harsh words and threats of annihilating each other. Does it mean now that the forthcoming scheduled peace negotiations are also called off ? Hopefully, not. Let us maintain an open line and continue to talk to each other. The peace talk is not as simple as it seems to some and surely, we ought to expect that there will be snags and obstacles along the way. To paraphrase a memorable line in one movie : Let us not feed the wolves of darkness and despair; let us feed instead the wolves of light and hope.”: . .

    4. Go for it Mr President, have an all-out war. This is the only language they know. In Russia, they shoot the rebels on site. Shoot first ask questions later.

    5. The commies “baited” Duterte to release 400 of their comrades. Good thing he did not “bite”as any head on a sovereign nation would do. Releasing some of their leaders was already an act of good faith on his part The commies insistence of giving in to their request exposed the impossibility of attaining peace with them. They want to fight for another 50 yrs?…then so be it and let it not be said that this administration didn’t try.