Holiday truce to benefit Reds only: AFP

A ceasefire this Yuletide Season will only benefit the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA), a military official said.

In an interview with DZBB Sunday, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) public affairs office chief, Col. Noel Detoyato, said this will only give the rebels a chance to celebrate their 50th founding anniversary on December 26.

“(We will not reciprocate) because ‘yung ceasefire na yan na gagawin nila ngayon ay sila lang ang makikinabang dahil magce-celebrate sila ng (they will be the only ones to benefit from the ceasefire because they will celebrate their) 50th year of atrocities and deceit, so we are not going (to do it) for them to celebrate,” he added.

The CPP-NPA ceasefire is slated to begin on 12:01 a.m. of December 24 to 11:59 p.m. of December 26 and on 12:01 a.m. of December 31 to 11:59 p.m. of January 1, 2019.

Detoyato also said the AFP will be on alert this holiday season to ensure and maintain peace for the Filipino people.

He also clarified that there are more NPAs surrendering for the past few months than encounters with the rebel group, thanks to the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) program.

“We (had) more incidents of surrenders than armed encounters, mas marami ngayong sumurrender, sa mga reports na dumarating (there are more surrenderers now. Based on reports that we receive), two out of three incidents involving the NPA are incidents of surrender,” Detoyato emphasized.

E-CLIP is one of the flagship programs of the Duterte administration that seeks to address social healing and national unity towards the higher objective of having just and lasting peace. It aims to provide social equity to former members of the CPP-NPA-NDF and the Militia ng Bayan in order to reintegrate them into mainstream society. (PNA)