MANILA–Operations against various New People’s Army (NPA) units will continue until a binding joint ceasefire is signed between the insurgents and the government.
This was confirmed by Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesperson Brig, Gen. Restituto Padilla on Monday.
“Until no official signing for a joint ceasefire, along with a third party mechanism to implement this between the government and rebels, the AFP and the police will not suspend operations against the NPAs,” he said in Filipino.
Padilla said the AFP and the government had grown wary with the unilateral ceasefire declared by the rebels as they could lift it anytime and strike military and civilians alike without any warning just like what happened last February where six unarmed troopers were killed and three other abducted.
He added that the third party mechanism, which will be tasked to monitor violations of both sides, is vital as they can conduct investigations and determine among the two parties are guilty of violating the truce.
“If they really want peace, it (will be demonstrated very) clearly in the signing of that joint ceasefire that they intend to have peace throughout the land and they intend to keep the interest of the people alive,” the AFP spokesperson stressed.
Likewise, the NPAs refusal to sign a joint ceasefire demonstrates their vested interests.