Government security forces are ready to repel guerilla attacks that the communist rebels may stage in line with the upcoming 50th anniversary of the Communist Party of the Philippines, Malacañang said yesterday.
“We are ready for that. The President doesn’t have to make any orders... meaning to say, the defense is ready for any eventuality,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said at a news conference.
President Rodrigo Duterte has yet to make a pronouncement on whether he will declare a suspension of military operations during the holidays which Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and the Armed Forces of the Philippines oppose.
AFP spokesperson Brigadier General Edgard Arevalo has said that in the past years the New People’s Army, the armed wing of the CPP, had launched terroristic and criminal activities while a holiday truce was in effect.
The military said it will keep a tight watch on the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) as it celebrates its 50th founding anniversary on December 26.
Peace negotiations between the government and communist rebels bogged down in November last year after Duterte lamented the continued attacks by the rebels on troops and civilians.
The talks were supposed to resume in June in Norway but Duterte called it off to give way to public consultations and review of existing agreements.
On Wednesday, the President said he was “no longer ready” to talk to the communists. He also warned exiled CPP founding chairman Jose Maria Sison that he will slap him should he return to the Philippines.
“The President opened his heart to peace talks. ‘Di ba, marami na siyang ginawa; he appointed those even identified with the Left in the Cabinet,” Panelo said.
“Pero what did they do, these people in the Left? While negotiating with us, they have committed criminal acts, terrorist activities, burning properties, exacting revolutionary taxes. Walang sincerity, kaya kumbaga inabot din iyong pasensiya ni Presidente.”