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Duterte to study AFP proposal vs holiday truce with Reds

 

BY ARGYLL GEDUCOS

 

 

Malacañang assured the public that President Duterte will “give a lot of weight” to the recommendation of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to do away with the usual holiday truce with communist rebels.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque made the statement after the AFP said it will not recommend the truce with communist rebels this holiday season, citing the rebels’ “incapacity for sincerity.”

In his Thursday presser, Roque refused to say if the President will follow the recommendation of the AFP but said Duterte will surely study it.

“Ako po ay tagapagsalita lamang (I am just a spokesman), I cannot second-guess the decision of the President,” he said.

“Ang ma-a-assure ko sa inyo, ‘yang mga ganyang rekomendasyon ng AFP, the President gives it a lot of weight. So pakikinggan po ‘yan, but ultimately it’s the President who will decide,” he added.

In a statement, the AFP said that communist rebels take advantage of the holiday truce to regroup, refurbish, recruit new members, and recoup their losses.

“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 AFP wrote in its statement.

Meanwhile, Roque called on terrorists to spare the people from further suffering.

“Hirap na hirap na po ang ating mga kababayan dahil sa pandemya, ‘wag niyo na pong dagdagan ang kanilang kahirapan pa,” he said.

The Palace official likewise appealed to terrorist groups to work with the government.

“Sana po ay makiisa na lang sila sa gobyerno,” Roque said. “Ang gobyerno naman po ay mapagpatawad. Kinakailangang mag-surrender, binibigyan kayo ng hanapbuhay pati nga po pabahay,” he added.

Roque, meanwhile, said communism is not a crime but killing fellow Filipinos is.

“Wala pong pupuntahan ang pagpatay sa kapwa Pilipino. Tigil na po ‘yan,” he said.

Earlier this year, the government and the Communist Party of the Philippines declared a ceasefire to address the COVID-19 pandemic but both sides claimed that the other launched attacks during the ceasefire. (Argyll Geducos)

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