Military to resume combat operations vs NPA Wednesday
The military is set to resume its combat operation against the New People’s Army (NPA) as the holiday truce ended Tuesday.
“Effective 12:00 (Wednesday) it will resume (military operations)... as far as the rules of engagements are concerned, when the ceasefire lapses tonight at 11:59 then that automatically means that we will resume offensive combat operations unless the commander in chief orders otherwise,” Arsenio Andolong, Department of National Defense (DND) public affairs chief said.
“It is really a national priority. Our peace and order situation is critical to achieving national development... local economies are not prospering because of the activities of the terrorists, especially those engaged in kidnapping, arson, extortion and it is of paramount importance and in fact as far as DND is concerned,” he added.
“It is part of the policy guidance of the Secretary of National Defense to conduct focused operations so that this may be achieved. But in reality we all know that our internal security operations runs for 47 years. It is really difficult to finish it overnight,” Andolong noted.
Major Gen. Noel Clement, Army’s 10th Infantry Division Commander assures the conduct of widespread operation against NPA members in his area of responsibility that includes Davao Region.
It can be recalled that the rebels conducted a series of attacks in Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley during Christmas Day.
“Yes, so we can finally put a stop to their atrocities and extortion,” Clement said when asked if they will have widespread operation against the rebels.
“Now is the best time to end this problem and let our country develop and improve lives of the people,” he added.
Despite attacks made by the rebels, Andolong emphasized the truce became successful.
“From my point of view I think it was generally successful, the skirmishes that happened. You know that’s always been the case in the past , but I think having a ceasefire is generally good especially for our troops. They had a chance for a reprieve although the left did not adhere ( to it), but I think generally it was good,” he said. Robina Asido/DMS