NOLCOM Chief: “No Ceasefire, No Let Up Operations”
CAMP AQUINO, Tarlac City — The commander of all military forces deployed in areas north of Metro Manila directed his troops to conduct “no let up operations this holiday season” on Tuesday.
Lt Gen Arnulfo Marcelo Burgos Jr, Commander of the AFP’s Northern Luzon Command, issued the order following President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s pronouncement that ceasefire with the NPA terrorists will not be declared this year.
He said that his soldiers “fully adhere to PRRD’s decision not to declare ceasefire because, time and again, the NPA terrorists have been insincere and, instead, used the period to further their terroristic intentions toward the community and the general public.”
Per military intelligence, NPA terrorists have historically taken advantage of unilateral ceasefires declared by the government in the past to build up their army through forced recruitment, oppress our people through extortion and betray peace by launching attacks against both civilian and military targets.
Lt Gen Burgos emphasized that “we will capitalize on the gains which we have recorded in just a span of five days”, referring to the neutralization of one NPA Regional White Area Secretary and two NPA Finance Officers, “that are on top of the numerous intelligence-driven encounters across northern and central Luzon.”
He assured the people that “we can, and we will, crush insurgency in this part of the country within the given timeline which will allow us to completely refocus our efforts in preserving and upholding our sovereignty over every inch of Philippine territory.”
He reaffirmed the AFP’s support to the Filipino people’s aspirations for “genuine and lasting peace which can only be achieved through sincere negotiations devoid of the violence inherent to the armed struggle which the NPA terrorists are espousing.”
NOLCOM, and the AFP in general, has been promoting localised peace engagements instead of the traditional top-level peace talks saying that the CPP and NDF negotiators no longer enjoy control over the armed NPA fighters in the ground who has almost always defied the provisions stipulated in previous ceasefire declarations.
“Your soldiers will always be willing to sacrifice our time with our families this Yuletide season in the name of our most solemn mandate as defenders of the north, guardians of our sovereignty and protectors of the Filipino people”, ended Lt Gen Burgos.
MAJ MARCO ANTONIO A MAGISA (INF) PA
Chief, Public Information Office, NOLCOM, AFP