MANILA — While prepared to carry out its constitutional mandate against rebel groups threatening and harassing peaceful communities, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said it strongly support efforts by local elected officials to convince these individuals to surrender and live peacefully with their loved ones.
This was emphasized by AFP chief-of-staff Gen. Rey Leonardo Guerrero, in a statement forwarded by military public affairs office chief, Col. Edgard Arevalo, late Saturday.
“The AFP supports the decision of the President to cancel talks with the CPP-NPA-NDF (Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front) and to go ‘all out’ against the NPA terrorists. The AFP also supports peace initiatives by our local elected officials including programs that seek to integrate NPAs back to mainstream society,” he added.
In Proclamation 360 signed Thursday, President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the scrapping of talks with the CPP-NPA-NDF following the series of atrocities committed by NPA bands against military and civilian targets in various parts of the country.
Around 64 soldiers, police officers and militiamen were killed while another 127 wounded in various attacks and ambushes conducted by the NPA on this year alone.
Aside from these, rebel attacks also accounted for 70 civilian deaths, including those of a four-month baby girl in Bukidnon last Nov. 9, along with 13 wounded and another 28 missing.