“The Philippine Army with its entire operational and tactical units have already stepped up its security measures to prevent and contain further possible enemy hostile actions," Lt. Col. Louie Villanueva, Army spokesperson, said Tuesday.
Despite the CCP-NPA attacks recently, Villanueva said the doors remain open for those who would like to surrender.
"Despite these unfortunate events wherein some of our peace defenders got wounded, while some offered their lives, the Army remains steadfast and determined to continue its task of securing and providing tranquility so that the people will feel and enjoy the spirit of Christmas season," he said.
Villanueva said the CPP-NPA marks their anniversary with violence which he said is "in contrast the peace agenda that they are trying to sell to the government and the people".
"The series of violent incidents perpetrated by CTs (communist terrorists are clear manifestations of their insincerity about the peace process and clear disregard to the welfare of the people. Instead of contributing to serenity to give way for the Christmas celebration, which every Filipinos dearly cherish and awaits, in contrast their offerings are malevolent," he added.
Panelo, meanwhile, encouraged Sison to also surrender before he becomes too weak to do so stressing that it was an honorable act to accomplish.
“It's time for him to wave the white flag before his physique gives up on him. There is honor in returning back to a democratic society and embracing the constitutional order,” Panelo said.
Panelo said it's “not too late” for Sison to embrace the rule of law and the majority and wished Sison well, in the spirit of Christmas.
“In the spirit of Christmas, we still wish him well and pray that he be blessed with inner peace and enlightenment,” Panelo said.
Earlier, President Rodrigo R. Duterte ordered his troops to “destroy” the Reds, firm in his decision not to subscribe to their five-day holiday ceasefire declaration.
“We do not subscribe to their ceasefire, we are ready for anything. Change your paradigm, do not fight them, destroy them. Destroy them, kill them,” Duterte said in a speech at Camp General Manuel Yan Sr. in Compostela Valley.
Duterte has terminated peace talks the CPP-NPA, tagged by the US as terrorists, as ..they continued to commit abuses and demand for a coalition government.
Instead, through Executive Order No. 70, a national task force will be created to formulate a National Peace Framework anchored on the "whole-of-nation" approach which prioritizes the delivery of basic services and social development packages by the government, facilitates societal inclusivity, and ensures active participation of all sectors of the society in the pursuit of the country's peace agenda.