By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga versus
Philippine Army 303rd Infantry Brigade (303IB) commander, Colonel Inocencio Pasaporte, confirmed they have resumed combat operations against the New People’s Army (NPA) in Negros after the ceasefire declaration expired this week. According to the military official, they have not recorded any gun battles with the rebels since the order was given early Wednesday morning.
In response to the resumption of combat operations, NPA-Apolinario Gatmaitan Command spokesperson Ka Juanito Magbanua accused the army of repeated violations during the ceasefire period, claiming they recorded 11 incidents of “troop movements” and combat operations.
He further claimed, they adhered to the ceasefire order issued by the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).
Last month, the National Democratic Front (NDF), the political arm of the CPP, agreed to recommend a 15-day ceasefire as part of Christmas and New Year’s Day holiday.
In a joint statement signed by Department of Labor and Employment Secretary Silvestre Bello III, who represented Philippine Government, and NDF Senior Adviser Luis Jalandoni, they agreed to recommend to their respective parties the issuance of a unilateral and reciprocal nationwide ceasefire.
During the ceasefire, government forces and the NPA stopped all of their offensives with each other./DGB, WDJ