MANILA Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Wednesday said he will not recommend any suspension of military operation (SOMO) against the rebel groups this Yuletide season.
"No. I have objected to a SOMO. We shall not allow the CPP (Communist Party of the Philippines) to use a SOMO to celebrate their 50th anniversary," the defense chief said in a message to reporters.
Lorenzana's views were echoed by Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesperson, Brig. Gen. Edgard Arevalo, in a press briefing.
"I think the Secretary of National Defense has already spoken that he is not inclined to recommend suspension of military operations this Yuletide season. If the AFP is going to be asked, we are not inclined to recommend the said SOMO," he added.
Arevalo said firming up the decision is the fact that the rebels have not shown any sincerity in the previous years.
"We see that in the past they have not been sincere with any suspension of military operations, they continue with their terroristic and criminal activists, extortion, harassments, etc. and we do not want to give them opportunity to gather and mass up to joyfully celebrate their 50th anniversary (which is slated on December 26)," Arevalo stressed.
Despite this, the AFP spokesperson said the declaration of SOMO is always up to the President's decision.
"Ang tanong naman natin is (The question is) are we recommending, so sabi natin ang (what we said is the) Secretary of National Defense has mentioned, has already stated that he is not inclined to recommend, ang Armed Forces ay ganun din (it is the same for the Armed Forces). But of course, the President has the last say," he added. (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency