CPP CEASEFIRE DECLARATION NOT AFP’S CONCERN
MANILA -- If the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army (CPP-NPA) wants to declare a unilateral ceasefire then that is their lookout, Brig. Gen. Edgard Arevalo, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesperson, said Friday.
"Well, that being unilateral, eh nasa sa kanila yun (it's up to them) if they would like to declare it but insofar as the AFP is concerned, sinasabi natin na (we are saying) we are not inclined to recommend to the President a holiday truce this time," he added.
And in justifying this decision, Arevalo cited the rebels’ insincerity and refusal to abide on commitments set up for past holiday ceasefires.
The AFP spokesperson said rebels are using the lull to recruit, regroup and refurbish their forces, noting that insurgents are also looking for maneuver space to celebrate their 50th founding anniversary on December 26.
"So ayaw natin silang bigyan ng pagkakataon na makapag-propagandize (we would not give them a chance to conduct propaganda), we will not recommend, we will not reciprocate. To me, to us, it’s a gambit na gusto nilang gawin para sa ganun sumagot tayo (they want us to respond) but we already learned our lessons in the past," he added.
The CPP-NPA ceasefire is slated to begin on 12:01 a.m. of Dec. 24 to 11:59 p.m. of Dec. 26 and on 12:01 a.m. of Dec. 31 to 11:59 p.m. of January 1, 2019. (PNA)