Security authorities say the military will smash into communist insurgents (bottom photo) after President Rodrigo Duterte calls off the ceasefire, after the New People's Army admits carrying out at least 20 military actions nationwide in the past five days, with troops (above photo) champing at bit for any encounter against enemies of the state. He said soldiers would go after the NPA to prevent them from conducting "atrocities and criminal activities".
"The ceasefire has been an effective manifestation of the CPP-NPA-NDF's commitment to the peace talks and has so far given peace to the communities where they continue to operate", Arevalo said before President Duterte announced the cancellation of the government's own unilateral ceasefire with the Left.
PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte on Friday ordered the military to prepare for war as he announced the lifting of the government's unilateral ceasefire with communist rebels.
The truce broke down on January 21 when rebels and soldiers exchanged gun shots in southern Philippines, leaving a guerilla dead.
A self-styled socialist, Duterte said he was disappointed by the ceasefire decision because his administration had provided a "golden opportunity" to a reach a peace deal with the rebels.
"The President never said that the peace talks won't we continued", he added.
"And we will hit them hard", AFP chief Gen. Eduardo Año declared.
"Because I have lost so many soldiers in just 48 hours, I think to continue with the ceasefire does not or will not produce anything", Duterte said in a speech.
"I really tried but the demands are really too huge, that it's really impossible to meet or even work out a ompromise", said the President. "Wala nang ceasefire (No more ceasefire)", said Duterte on Friday, February 3. So I would really like to express my sadness, we can not have a peaceful generation.
The NPA is the armed wing of the Communist Pary of the Philippines (CPP) and the National Democratic Front (NDF).
"In the time that the [ceasefire was] supposedly effective, these were honored in the breach by the AFP, PNP and paramilitary forces", he said as he accused government forces of encroachment, harassment and random interrogation of residents suspected to have links with the NPA.
Rappler earlier learned that Duterte had given orders terminating the ceasefire on Thursday night, February 2, while he was in Davao City.
He said troops will not carry out operations against the rebels but will maintain peace and order.
"Rest assured that the Armed Forces, as the only legitimate military organization mandated to protect the people and the communities, will take proactive defensive measures to thwart attacks from all lawless armed groups", Arevalo said.
"We continue to hope that efforts on both sides will lead to the co-founding by the NDFP and the GRP of the Federal Republic of the Philippines and the achievement of just and lasting peace for our people", he said.