GPHL unilateral truce with NPA puts thousands of AFP soldiers at risk – group

URBAN poor group Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap slammed the alleged incompetence of President Benigno Simeon Aquino III to lead the ranks of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) after Malacanang extended the suspension of military operations (SOMO) of the AFP against the New People’s Army, the armed wing of the Communist of the Philippines (CPP).

The SOMO extension was announced by Malacanang just right after the CPP has cancelled before midnight today its holiday truce that is supposed to run until January 15.

The extended truce which is supposed to take effect from December 20 to January 15 was earlier arranged by representatives of the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), CPP’s political wing, in a special meeting in The Hague, Netherlands.

Since December 28, the CPP has been urging Malacanang to reciprocate its effort of declaring the extended ceasefire official.

According to Kadamay, the delayed unilateral ceasefire declared by the government shall put the lives of thousands of AFP soldiers at risk.

“Putting its ranks in a ‘disadvantaged’ position with a unilateral ceasefire is the CPP’s reason of cutting it short until midnight,” Arellano, Kadamay national chairperson said.

“The lack of concern on its own ranks by the AFP’s Commander-on Chief who is President Aquino is very appalling.”

With the government’s unilateral ceasefire order, around 155,000 soldiers, together with paramilitary elements and the Philippine National Police personnel would be vulnerable to attacks of the NPA guerillas until January 15.

“It would be very timely as the CPP announces in its 44th anniversary message last December 26 to intensify its annihilative actions as the main tactics of the NPA to wipe out enemy units in order to seize weapons for increasing NPA units,” Arellano added.

According to the said statement, “The NPA currently has thousands of high-powered rifles in the hands of its fighters and aims to increase this to the level of 25,000 in order to reach the threshold of the strategic stalemate in the next few years.”

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