AS the suspension of military operations (SOMO) and the unilateral ceasefire declared by the communist New People’s Army (NPA) ended on Sunday, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) ceased its active defense mode and switched back to full military operations against all enemies of the state, the military spokesman announced on Sunday.
“Balik sa dating gawi [Back to usual routine],“ Col. Restituto Padilla said.
He noted that peace only comes during holidays particularly during the Christmas season.
“The AFP believes that the Filipino is aspiring to finally attain peace in the whole country, that’s why we support any peace process,” Padilla said.
“So we call on the CPP-NPA to consider renouncing the use of arms in their struggle, that’s our message to them… kami ay nananawagan sa kanila na tama na ang labanan, oras na magbaba ng armas at magtrabaho tayo para sa kapakanan ng taongbayan [We are calling on them to stop the fighting, it is now time for them to lay down their firearms and work for the good of the people],” he added.
Earlier, the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) ordered its armed wing, the NPA, to observe the ceasefire starting December 23, 2015 to January 3, 2016 “in solidarity with the Filipino people’s traditional celebrations of Christmas and New Year holidays.”
Days later, President Benigno Aquino 3rd ordered the SOMO as recommended by the Department of National Defense.
The suspension only covers military operations against the NPA.
The SOMO does not cover law enforcement operations conducted by the Philippine National Police and which the AFP supports against other threat groups and wanted personalities.