ZAMBOANGA CITY: Filipino communist insurgents on Tuesday accused the military of breaking its own unilateral truce following continued operations against the New People’s Army in southern Philippines.
Simon Santiago, a rebel spokesman, said combat forces under the Eastern Mindanao Command have launched offensive operations in several areas in Davao City, Davao Oriental, Compostela Valley, North Cotabato and Agusan del Sur.
“The continued troops deployment, build-up and hamletting in those areas belie the claim made by the US-Aquino regime in declaring a ceasefire during the traditional Christmas season. The presence of the troops in these areas does not appear to be risk-free, undisruptive or inoffensive, but comprises actual offensive maneuvers within and in the periphery of guerrilla territories,” Santiago said.
He added that soldiers found outside of detachments and outposts shall be treated as legitimate targets of the New People’s Army.
Santiago said the Maoist rebel forces under the Southern Mindanao Regional Command remain on “active defensive mode” as it complies with the Communist Party of the Philippines’ designated truce on December 24, 25 and 26, and from December 31 to January 1, 2015.
Santiago said the NPA truce is also in effect during the papal visit in the Philippines on January 15 to 19, 2015.
The NPA, which has been fighting for decades for the establishment of a Maoist state in the country, recently freed two captured soldiers Pfc. Alvin Ricarte and Cpl. Benjamin Enot Samano to Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, who helped negotiate for their freedom in Montevista town in Compostela Valley province.
However, it is still holding captive Privates Marnel Cinches and Jerrel Yurong, PO3 Democrito Polvorosa, PO1 Marichel Contemplo and PO1 Junrie as prisoners of war in the restive region.