DAVAO CITY – Filipino communist insurgents on Monday have accused the military of breaking its own unilateral truce following continued operations against the New People’s Army in southern Philippines.
Simon Santiago, a rebel spokesman, said combat forces under the Eastern Mindanao Command have launched offensive operations in several areas in Davao City, Davao Oriental, Compostela Valley, North Cotabato and Agusan del Sur.
“The continued troops deployment, build-up and hamletting in those areas belie the claim made by the US-Aquino regime in declaring a ceasefire during the traditional Christmas season. The presence of the troops in these areas does not appear to be risk-free, undisruptive or inoffensive, but comprises actual offensive manoeuvres within and in the periphery of guerrilla territories.”
“Their blatant occupation of civilian areas while supposedly in suspended military operations is highly provocative and increases the risk of armed engagements with the Red fighters amid civilian-populated areas,” he said.
Santiago said government troops were also using civilians as cover in their daily activities in many of those areas
“The continued operation of Special Operations Team or so-called peace and development teams (of the military) violates and makes a mockery of the US-Aquino regime’s own version of ceasefire. AFP troops who are operating in civilian areas either underhandedly or blatantly are on offensive combat operations and, except for those who are inside their detachments and outposts, shall be treated as legitimate targets by the NPA,” he said.
He said the rebel forces under Southern Mindanao Regional Command remain on “active defensive mode” as it abides with the Communist Party of the Philippines’ designated truce on December 24, 2014 until December 26, and from December 31 to January 1, 2015.
Santiago said the NPA truce is also in effect during the papal visit in the Philippines on January 15 to 19, 2015.
“The continued provocation and deception made by the AFP troops while pretending to be on a truce make it even more imperative for the Red fighters to launch tactical offensives against these fascist troops anytime and anywhere while firmly adhering to the letter and spirit of the CPP’s ceasefire declaration,” he said.
There was no immediate statement from the Eastern Mindanao Command.
The NPA has been fighting for many decades now for the establishment of a Maoist state in the country. (Mindanao Examiner)
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