MANILA — If the rebels really care about the country and its people, they should return to the negotiating table and deal honestly and directly with the government.
This was stressed by Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesperson Major Gen. Restituto Padilla, stressing that their fight is really hopeless.
“But hopefully they come to their senses that this fight is hopeless, that the Filipino people have already made themselves felt. Hindi na nila gusto ang ganitong kaguluhan dahil sila ang naaapektuhan, (They don’t want chaos because they are the ones who are affected.)” he added.
Also, should the rebels decide to continue with their fight, the fighting would have an effect on Philippine security.
“So kung talagang nagnanais silang magdulot ng katahimikan para sa buong kapuluan then sila na mismo ang dapat magde-decide na sana noong nagkaroon ng usapang pangkapayapaan naging maayos ang kanilang naging pakikitungo at naging willing sana sila sa maaaring naging kasunduan na hindi naging hard-liner ang stance nila (So if they really want peace in the archipelago, then they should have decided at the time when there were peace talks that they would be willing to accept the possible outcome of the talks without having a hard-liner stance.),” Padilla pointed out.
President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the scrapping of peace talks with the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front, in his Proclamation 360 which was 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. (PNA)