AFP says to skip holiday truce with communist rebels

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 03 2020 10:43 AM | Updated as of Dec 03 2020 04:18 PM

MANILA - The military said Thursday it would not recommend to President Rodrigo Duterte a truce with communist rebels for the holiday season.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines cited communist rebels' alleged violation of their own ceasefire declarations, which showed its "incapacity for sincerity."

"They venture on peace talks only to give themselves the chance to regroup, refurbish, recruit new members, and recoup their losses," it said in a statement.

"And with these many hard lessons of the past, we will not allow them to trample upon our people’s bona fide desire for peace—not this holiday season—not until we have decisively defeated this menace to society."

The military last year said the New People's Army killed one solider and wounded 8 others in separate attacks in Camarines Sur and Iloilo, just days before Christmas.

President Rodrigo Duterte gives "a lot of weight" to the military's recommendation, said his spokesman Harry Roque.

"Pakikinggan (that will be heard) po iyan but ultimately it’s only the President who will decide," he told reporters. 

Earlier this year, government and the Communist Party of the Philippines declared ceasefire to make way for the country's fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

The CPP had extended its truce by 15 days. Both sides said the other launched attacks during the ceasefire.

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