AFP to enforce suspension of military operations vs communist rebels during holidays: spokesman
There will be no ceasefire with communist rebels but the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) will enforce a suspension of military operations (SOMO) during the holiday season, a military spokesman said.
"The ceasefire is out of question now because we do not know who to talk to. Their leaders have gone into hiding. Some are neutralized and number two is that there is a leadership vacuum. A leadership crisis within the underground organization so how can they enforce a ceasefire to make sure the compliance of all its force," Col. Medel Aguilar said in a television interview.
"The most that we can offer right now is the suspension of military operations and we will shift to active defense," he added.
Aguilar did not say when the suspension of military operations will begin.
Aguilar said the suspension of military operations will allow troops to have time with their families during the Yuletide season."This will also allow troops to be with their families and hopefully the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) will allow its members, its fighters, the NPA members to visit their families, to go home," he said.
"And by the time that they are supposed to go back, they will realize that armed struggle is no longer relevant... it will be a futile exercise because reforms can be achieved without resorting to violence," he added. Robina Asido/DMS