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Military, police say ceasefire ineffective for peace, anyway

TOP military and police officials vowed support to President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s pronouncement that there will be no ceasefire between the government and communist rebels during the holidays — and until he steps down in 2022.

“There will be no more ceasefire ever again under my term… For all intents and purposes, the ceasefire is dead,” Mr. Duterte said in a televised talk late Monday.

Earlier this year, the United Nations (UN) called for a worldwide armistice in consideration of the global coronavirus pandemic. The Philippine government backed the appeal, but said the New People’s Army (NPA), the armed group of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), continued attacks on security forces and civilians.

Major Gen. Edgard A. Arevalo, military spokesperson, reiterated on Tuesday that their recommendation not to have the traditional Christmas truce was based on the NPA’s history of violating agreements.

“We’re thankful the President heeded AFP’s (Armed Forces of the Philippines) recommendation not to declare holiday ceasefire & beyond — not because we don’t want peace, but because what we advocate is a genuine & lasting peace that can’t be achieved with NPA that is notoriously insincere,” Mr. Arevalo said in a statement.

Police chief Gen. Debold M. Sinas, in a briefing, said they will carry on with operations against the armed rebels, especially those with warrants of arrest for various crimes. — Gillian M. Cortez and Emmanuel Tupas/PHILSTAR

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