Army’s 3rd Infantry Division yesterday advised the New People’s Army to
stay in their lairs, so as not to start chaos, as it brushed
aside accusations of alleged ceasefire violations.
The government's sovereign authority to declare a
unilateral ceasefire is not tied down to any arbitrary conditions of
any political or armed groups such as the Communist Party of the
Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front, said Capt.
Cenon Pancito, 3ID Public Affairs office chief.
What the 3ID has suspended
is direct offensive action against the CPP-NPA-NDF, Pancito
Ka Juanito Magbanua, spokesman of the Apolinario
Gatmaitan Command, issued a statement strongly condemning the continued
military operations in the hinterlands of Moises Padilla, Ilog,
Candoni, Sipalay City, Kabankalan City, Hinoba-an and Binalbagan in
Negros Occidental, and Guihulngan City in Negros Oriental, which is a
violation of their declared unilateral ceasefire.
Magbanua accused the Armed Forces of the Philippines
of using the COVID- 19 issue to justify their combat operations in
places they deem to be under the control of the revolutionary movement.
“These show the deception of the US-Duterte regime
behind its unilateral ceasefire declaration that in truth aims to
destroy the revolutionary movement, while peoples of the world are
fighting the COVID-19,” Magbanua claimed.
While the 3ID suspends its direct offensive action
against the CPP-NPA-NDF, Pancito said “it does not mean that the NPA
rebels are allowed to terrorize the people, or for them to start their
evil intentions in the barangays”.
He also pointed out that the declaration of
unilateral ceasefire is founded on the government sovereign social
contract with the people which is the framework of the sovereignty of
the state and the government.
The CPP-NPA declared a ceasefire against government
forces from March 26 to April 15, while the government unilateral
ceasefire took effect March 19 to April 15.
Juanito called all military troops to follow their
ceasefire declaration, and they should remain in their detachments and
help in serving the people.
Pancito stressed that that the declaration of a
unilateral ceasefire by the government will not limit its sovereign
authority to perform and execute its legal mandate, including law
enforcement, public safety and security operations, and
maintaining the operationalization of all necessary legal instruments
and legal processes.
“Our ceasefire does not mean that the NPAs are allowed to terrorize the
people. The Army soldiers will definitely stop NPA illegal activities
as reported by the masses,” he said.*
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