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Ceasefire is dead, Duterte declares

President Rodrigo Duterte
President Rodrigo Duterte

THE guns won’t be silent this Christmas.

President Rodrigo Duterte has declared that the New People’s Army (NPA) can no longer expect a ceasefire under his administratiion.

The President’s statement was a complete reversal of his stand aired before the United Nations for a global truce to allow the world to focus on battling the COVID-19 scourge.

Duterte announced his rejection of a ceasefire with the communists in his address to the nation Monday night in response to a call by the Armed Forces of the Philippines not to declare a Christmas ceasefire this year.

In his Monday night address the President also announced he is stepping awayfrom peace negotiations with the CPP-NPA-NDF.

“There will be no ceasefire ever again under my term ko pagka-presidente,” said Duterte. “I would say the ceasefire is dead and the peace talks between the NDF, NPA, pati ’yong isali na rin natin legal front nila. Pati kayong lahat, I am identifying you because I have seen the records. You are really communists.”

“And as I have pointed out, we are not only tagging you. That’s a light [term]… We are identifying you,” the President added.

He zeroed in on Bayan Muna Representative Carlos Zarate charging him with being a member of the communist armed wing New People’s Army. He said “the act of the soldier NPA is the act of Zarate.”

PNP to step up drive vs NPA

Philippine National Police chief General Debold M. Sinas yesterday said they will intensify their manhunt operation against wanted New People’s Army personalities and their offensive against the rebels in the mountains following President Duterte’s decision to forego a Yuletide ceasefire with the communist group.

“The same pa rin ang deployment natin. We are just on the defense mode pero kung wala nang ceasefire, tuloy po ang mga operations. Tuloy po ang deployment sa iba’t ibang areas at saan nakatago ang armado ng mga . Tuloy po iyon, wala pong withdrawal at kung nasa bundok sila, iyong tropa nasa bundok pa rin. Wala pong changes diyan,” the PNP chief told newsmen at Camp Crame.

Gen. Sinas said they will be fully supporting President Duterte’s decision to end the traditional Christmas and New Year truce with the CPP/NPA/NDF which has been accused by the Armed Forces of showing “incapacity for sincerity and being unfaithful to a covenant.”