MANILA — The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has placed all of its units on high alert following the lifting of the government’s unilateral ceasefire with the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) on Saturday night.
This was stressed by AFP spokesperson Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla in message to the PNA.
“In compliance to the Commander-in-Chief’s order, the AFP is immediately issuing the appropriate guidance to all AFP units all throughout the archipelago that the operational guidelines earlier issued in pursuance to the government’s ceasefire declaration is hereby lifted. All our forces remain on high alert and will resume to discharge their normal functions and constitutional mandated tasks,” he added.
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte declared the unilateral ceasefire against the rebels during his first State-of-the-Nation Address on Monday in line with achieving the government’s goal of final and lasting peace.
But the Chief Executive ordered the lifting of the unilateral ceasefire after the 5:00 p.m. Saturday after the ultimatum he gave lapsed without reciprocation from the rebel groups.
“Correspondingly, I am ordering the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police to also withdraw the operational guidelines they issued in pursuance to that ceasefire declaration,” Duterte stressed.
Prior the deadline, the President demanded a concrete explanation from the rebels regarding its July 27 attack against militia units in Kapalong, Davao Del Norte which killed one and wounded four others.
“The NPA have missed a golden opportunity to manifest their commitment to the attainment of our citizen’s much sought peace throughout the land,” Padilla said.
“This could have been what the Filipino nation had been waiting for — the silencing of the guns that could have hastened development especially in the countryside. As things now stand, the AFP will abide by the ensuing orders of the Commander-in-Chief President Rodrigo Duterte following this development,” AFP chief-of-staff Gen. Ricardo Visaya said.
“I am ordering all our forces to resume their normal mandated tasks and work to neutralize all threats to national security, protect the citizenry, enforce the laws and maintain peace in the land,” he added. Priam Nepomuceno/ PNA/northboundasia.com