MANILA — Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief-of-staff Gen. Rey Leonardo Guerrero has ordered the beefing up of “focused military operations” against lawless elements as rebels are expected to intensify their attacks in wake of the termination of the peace talks.
“My directive to the troops is to intensify our ‘focused military operations’ to destroy the NPA, and to protect our communities against terrorism,” he said.
Guerrero added that focused military operations can prevent the rebels from harassing and intimidating communities.
Earlier, the AFP chief said the military strongly supports the decision of President Rodrigo Duterte to cancel talks with Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF).
Talks with the CPP-NPA-NDF were ordered scrapped by the Chief Executive, in his Proclamation 360 which signed Nov. 23, 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.