CAMP AQUINO, Tarlac – The Northern Luzon Command (Nolcom) of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) will continue its no letup operations against communist terrorist groups during the holiday season.
Lt. Gen. Arnulfo Marcelo Burgos Jr., commander of the Nolcom, issued an order on the continuity of anti-insurgency efforts following the pronouncement of President Rodrigo Duterte that no ceasefire with the New People’s Army (NPA) would be declared this year.
He said in a statement that the soldiers “fully adhere to President Duterte’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.”
Burgos said NPA terrorists have historically taken advantage of unilateral ceasefires declared by the government in the past to build up their resources through forced recruitment, and oppressed people through extortion while destroying peace in localities by launching attacks against both civilian and military targets.
“We will capitalize on the gains which we have recorded in just a span of five days,” the Nolcom chief said, referring to the neutralization of one NPA Regional White Area secretary and two finance officers, “that are on top of the numerous intelligence-driven encounters across northern and central Luzon.”
He assured the people that they can, and will crush insurgency in this part of the country within the given timeline which will allow them to completely refocus their efforts in preserving and upholding the sovereignty of the country’s territory.
Burgos reaffirmed the support of the AFP 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.”
The Nolcom and the AFP have been promoting localized peace engagements instead of the traditional top-level peace talks.
The NPA, along with its political wing, the Communist Party of the Philippines, is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. (PNA)