NPA guerrillas violated no truce agreement – NDFP
LUCENA CITY, Quezon City, Philippines — The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) insisted that the attacks by the New People’s Army (NPA) rebels against government forces in Camarines Norte and Iloilo provinces on Monday were not violations of the ceasefire.
Fidel Agcaoili, NDFP peace panel chair, said the NPA rebels committed no ceasefire violations in the reported encounter with Army soldiers and policemen in Labo, Camarines Norte and Tubungan, Iloilo.
“These were defensive actions by the NPA units involved in the face of armed attacks and sustained military operations by the AFP and the PNP (special operations unit), as attested to in separate statements issued by the Romulo Jallores Command, New People’s Army, Bicol, and the Napoleon Tumagtang Command, New People’s Army, Southern Panay,” Agcaoili said in a statement sent to Inquirer on Wednesday.
He belied the military and police press releases and tagged them both as “malicious charges.”
“We wish to inform the public that to date the NDFP has yet to receive copies of the Somo (Suspension of Military Operations) and Sopo (Suspension of Police Operations) to be issued by the Armed Forces of the Philippines and Philippine National Police, respectively, on the basis of a mutual agreement as reflected in the ceasefire order of the Communist Party of the Philippines,” Agcaoili said.
He demanded that “the AFP issue its Somo as directed by their commander in chief (President Duterte).”
CPP founder Jose Maria “Joma” Sison also demanded that the government release its Somo and Sopo orders.
“The GRP (Government of the Republic of the Philippines) has not yet sent to the NDFP the Somo and Sopo. Neither has it sent these to the mass media for public dissemination, as earlier done by the CPP and NDFP the ceasefire order to the NPA,” Sison said in a Facebook chat with the Inquirer.
He maintained that the issuance of the Somo and Sopo “is crucially important” for the NDFP, CPP and NPA to have the documents.
Army chief Lt. Gen. Gilbert Gapay on Wednesday pushed for localized peace talk.
In his statement, Gapay honored the “sense of duty and sacrifice” of the members of the 92nd division reconnaissance company who were ambushed at around 9 a.m. of Dec. 23 by the NPA in Labo while they were on their way back to base in observance of the suspension of military operations declared at around 12 a.m. of the same day.
According to the Army chief, ”We are one with the government and the people’s desire to a just and lasting peace in the entire country.”
He added, “In light of this development, other means of peaceful resolution such as localized peace talks need to be considered.”
“We just hope that the CPP-NPA will not miss this opportunity by staging these senseless attacks, especially during a time when the nation celebrates the season of love, peace and unity,” Gapay further said.
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