Bancasi, Butuan City – The 402nd Infantry (Stingers) Brigade continuedits offensive operations against the CPP-NPA Terrorists (CNTs) in its Area of Responsibility (AOR) after the holiday ceasefire between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the CPP-NPA-NDF expired at midnight of January 7, 2020.
President Rodrigo Duterte declared a nationwide unilateral ceasefire from 12AM of December 23, 2019 to 11:59PM of January 7, 2020 as a confidence-building measure before the resumption of the formal peace talks.
402nd Brigade Commander, Brigadier General Maurito L Licudine, said in his statement that his troops adhered and respected the ceasefire as no military offensives were conducted during the holiday truce.
“We adhered to the provisions of the ceasefire and saw to it that no violations will be committed by our troops. We maintained our position and continuedour support to Law Enforcement Operations of our PNP counterparts to prevent lawless elements from spoiling the serenity of the celebration of theyuletide season”.
However, it cannot be denied that in some parts of the country, the NPA elements have committed violation when attacks happened in Labo, Camarines Norte on December 23, 2019, Compostela Valley on December 30, 2019 and in Cabanglasan, Bukidnon on January 4 this year while the truce is still in effect.
“With the ceasefire officially terminated, our troops will continue our hunt for the CNTs as they have never ceased inflicting sufferings to our people. The burning of civilian trucks at Brgy Libertad, Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur and recently the ruthless killing of Datu Bontola Tinaghao Mansinugdan in the same province, are among the incidents to consider if we could really trust the CPP-NPA-NDF to keep their promises”, BGen Licudine added.
The Army Commander in Caraga reiterated the call of the National Government that the Communist Terrorist Group must prove their sincerity if they are to go back to the peace table. “We reiterate our statement that the government hasgone the extra mile several times as a sign of goodwill but we have yet to see the same level of sincerity on the part of the CPP-NPA-NDF. They must walk-the-talk first so that innocent lives will be spared and a lasting peace can be attained”, BGen Licudine ended.