Duterte revokes truce with Reds

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President Rodrigo Duterte. File Photo

President Rodrigo Duterte. File Photo

President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday revoked the unilateral ceasefire he announced in his first State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 25 after communist rebels failed to communicate with the government before the ultimatum set by the President.

Duterte had warned that he will lift the ceasefire if the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) failed to declare their own truce by 5 p.m. yesterday.

“Let me now announce that I am hereby ordering the immediate lifting of the unilateral ceasefire that I ordered last July 25 against the communist rebels,” Duterte said in a statement sent to reporters by Presidential peace adviser Jesus Dureza.

The President directed the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police to also withdraw the operational guidelines they issued in pursuance of the ceasefire declaration.


“I am ordering all security forces to be on high alert and continue to discharge their normal functions and mandate to neutralize all threats to national security, protect the citizenry, enforce the laws and maintain peace in the land,” he said.

On Friday, the President said the CPP should reciprocate the government’s ceasefire declaration by 5 p.m. Saturday.

He issued the ultimatum after NPA members attacked government’s militias Wednesday in Davao del Norte, killing one and injuring several others from the government side.

Duterte personally condoled with the family of the slain militiaman at the headquarters of the 60th Infantry Batallion in Davao del Norte.

“I am asking you, are you ready to declare ceasefire or not? I will, 5 in the afternoon, I will wait for that declaration. If I don’t get word from you, I will lift the order of ceasefire,” Duterte said on Friday.

CPP leader Jose Maria Sison has asked Duterte to give the group more time to study the implications of the truce.

“President Duterte should be patient and not expect quick surrenders from highly principled and experienced revolutionaries who have a growing mass base against the rotten ruling system of big compradors and landlords,” Sison said in a statement.

No ceasefire
But Rigoberto Sanchez, spokesman of the NPA-Southern Mindanao Regional Operations Command, claimed that the unilateral ceasefire was not enforced in Mindanao.

“There is no conspicuous and veritable unilateral ceasefire exercised by AFP and PNP and paramilitary troops in Southern Mindanao,” Sanchez said in a statement posted at the communist website on Saturday.

“The NPA and the people’s militia are ready to defend itself from enemy troops who are actively present in almost all villages in Southern Mindanao. These are not troops implementing innocuous ‘civil-military operations’ but are implementing combat operations, surveillance, reconnaissance, intelligence, and psychological warfare in civilian communities,” he said.

“These are troops who use communities as garrisons, conduct counter-revolutionary operations, harass and threaten civilians and ensure that their protected illegal activities such as drug trade and logging and mining pay-offs continue unhindered,” he added.

Sanchez noted that in Magpet, North Cotabato for example, soldiers continued their military operations.

“On July 27, platoons of the 84th IB were deployed in far-flung communities of Toril, Davao City. In Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur, troops of the 2nd Scout Rangers Battalion conducted combat operations on July 29,” he said.

Sanchez claimed that one proof of continuing operations is the recent firefight in Kapalong, Davao del Norte that resulted in the death of a militiaman and the wounding of four others.

He accused “anti-peace process” military officials of spinning lies to derail the negotiations.

He said it is difficult for the NPA to reciprocate a ceasefire “when there are military officials who do not wish to follow Duterte’s order.”

“While the NPA-SMROC is ready, willing and able to reciprocate the unilateral ceasefire in accordance to the parameters, guidelines and rules to be set by the national leadership of the NPA, CPP, and NDFP, it cannot be harangued to reciprocate a unilateral ceasefire order that is overtly mocked by the AFP hierarchy and its ground troops and paramilitary forces,” Sanchez said.

He urged the President to investigate the military’s operations and deployment of troops to enable the aforesaid unilateral ceasefire order to become effective. “Otherwise, it cannot burden the NPA to reciprocate what is turning out to be a spurious unilateral ceasefire,” he added.

Peace talks to continue
The lifting of the unilateral ceasefire will not affect the resumption of peace talks between the government and communist rebels next month, Presidential peace adviser Jesus Dureza said.

“Who is saying it will not push through? We have scheduled it August 20 up to August 27. So we’re pushing through with this as originally scheduled,” Dureza said in a radio interview.

“It will not in any way affect the peace talks because we know even when we agreed to resume the peace negotiations, we have tabled as an agenda item the discussion on the interim ceasefire,” he added.

The peace negotiations will be held in Oslo, Norway.

Dureza also denied rumors that the AFP has plans of sabotaging the peace process with the communist rebels.

“I have not found any indication at all that the AFP is sabotaging it,” he said.

“As a matter of fact, if you listen to the supportive statements of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, they have fully supported the President in his declaration, in our efforts to resume the peace negotiations, they have supported even the call of the President for a unilateral ceasefire,” he added.

But Sison said in a television interview said they planned to declare a ceasefire at 8 p.m. on Saturday. The ceasefire, he added, was recommended by the National Democratic Front to the CPP-NPA.

Sison said the NDF is still open to peace talks with the government.

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15 Comments

  1. How can we Trust the CPP-NPA? There is No Way that these Red Zombies will declare Truce and pursue Peace because the CPP-NPA wants POWER…Better ask Gen Jovito Palparan for more INTEL against This Group…

  2. Please read the article written by Mark Curtis entitled “The War in Malaya 1948-1960”. It was said that the Brits used tons and tons of bombs and also defoliant to clear the possible ambush points so the Communist Terrorists will not be able to hide. Hope this will not happen when President Duterte lifted the ceasefire order against the CPP-NDF-NPA.

  3. Joma is not in control. Propaganda lang siya. Nakakatawa. Lumabas tuloy na mukha lang sya, walang character.

  4. Leodegardo Pruna on

    Sison says that they are highly principled. If they are they should not be hiding and leaving behind people who would do the fighting for them. President Duterte is not that kind of a man. He is man enough even to stake his honor, his life and his presidency for peace and the welfare of his people. God bless the President. God bless the Philippines.

  5. Leodegardo Pruna on

    The CPP-NPA-NDF should once and for all times honor their words. There is now way for peace to happen unless they push for one that is genuine, honorable, and sincere. If they are truly leaders and principled people, they should not simply throw to government questions which they themselves could and have the answers. President Duterte has all the respect and support of the Filipino nation for his peace advocacy. God save the Philippines. God bless the Philippines.

  6. Peace talks with the communists is a waste of time and money. They do not like peace, they want power.

  7. Jose Maria Sion is definitely not controlling the NPA. That is what Duterte was trying to use as a truce with the NPA. Mr Sison has been out of the country for almost 30 years and does not control the NPA.

    • The Netherlands is a very peaceful country. I have been to Amsterdam (the capital) on a tour and noticed the citizens are friendly and happy people. The best tourist attraction is the RLD which I did not join. They said many different nationalities are working in the oldest profession there.

  8. Siso should shut up by the government. He never wage a war against the ruling yellow oligarchy kasi bayad siya.

  9. The CPP-NDF-NPA cannot be trusted no matter how much the government exercise leniency. They are looking for suitable opening to pursue their political ambition to subdue the duly constituted authority and grab power. COMMUNISM is dead look at CUBA,RUSSIA,CHINA,THE EASTERN EUROPE. LENIN’S BUST AND STATUE HAD BEEN DESTROYED but Chairman Mao still held in pedestal. China is no longer supporting communism, because communism is dead. Only here in the Ph (ragtag) communism exist look ay their old leaders enjoying life in Netherlands while these morons,gullible communist cadres here in the Ph Fighting for those idiots. Joma sison et.al.eat well,sleep well, enjoying good weather and living their lives to the fullest. While the cadres and their families hungry to the extent of being DEAD HUNGRY,living like rats,and sleeping like dogs.these cadres are bunch of political moron. Idialistic without having good idea of what happening in international political economic and social scenes.BE AWARE THAT CHINA NO LONGER INTERESTED SUPPORTING COMMUNISM,CHINA IS BUSY REVIVING THE ANCIENT SILK ROAD. SOONER OT LATER MARITIME SILK ROUTE WILL BE IN VOGUE.?

  10. Duterte erred and made a huge blunder by deciding the ceasefire even announcing it in SONA. The Commies can never be trusted. They’re not just simply fighting for ideology but committing crimes against the people. How many times did they violate the Christmas and other holiday truces?

    Look at Joma Sison living comfortably in a cool country Netherlands. While his men are fighting and dying in the Philippines and the people are suffering, he’s enjoying his exile there. BTW, when would he admit that he and the NPA masterminded the tragic Plaza Miranda bombing which was blamed on Marcos?

  11. Prinze Fisher on

    The reds failed to respond responsibly in pushing the peace cause offered by the President. They actually insulted him!!!

  12. Duterte should learn from history. When Cory became president, she released from prison, all communist leaders. But even the saint Cory could not convince the CPP-NPA rebels to lay down their firearms and end fighting the government.

  13. Ignacio Balbutin on

    hahaha highly principled and experienced revolutionaries nakakatawa, eh mga bandido ang mga kumonista na iyan. Sa Thailand nasupil ang kumonista through all out war maski ang karatig na bansa ay kumonista din kaya alam ko magagawa iyan ni President Duterte. All out war against all rebels that does not recognized the authority of the President para masugpo na ang mga iyan. Masahol pa ang mga iyan sa drug lords eh