Nothing new with Reds threat of nationwide offensive: AFP spox

MANILA There is nothing new with the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) threat to mount a nationwide offensive in response to another year-long extension of martial law in Mindanao, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said Thursday.

In an interview with reporters, Brig. Gen. Edgard Arevalo, AFP spokesperson, said the rebels are merely using the martial law extension as an excuse for their real goals which is to conduct attacks and disturbances which could severely affect the country.

"Noon ngang may umiiral na ceasefire eh nagpatuloy ang mga pag-atake nila sa mga sundalong nasa humanitarian mission; mga pangingikil at pangigipit sa mga negosyo at mamumuhunan; panunog ng mga kagamitang pansakahan at pang-gawaing bayan kaya nga kinansela ng Presidente ang ceasefire. So anong bago (In the past, they continue attacking soldiers on a humanitarian mission even if a ceasefire is in effect. They also extort money from businesses and investors and burn farming and public works equipment. These are the reasons why the President scrapped the ceasefire. So, what's new?)" he added.

Arevalo also chided the rebels for having the temerity to declare a unilateral ceasefire during parts of the Yuletide Season, a truce which they have conveniently forgotten following this latest CPP pronouncement.

"At meron pa silang sinasabing (And they still have this) unilateral ceasefire na idineklara nila ngayong panahon ng Kapaskuhan (which they declared for the Christmas season)," he added.

The CPP ceasefire is slated to begin on 12:01 a.m. of Dec. 24 to 11:59 p.m. of Dec. 26 and on 12:01 a.m. of Dec. 31 to 11:59 p.m. of January 1, 2019.

"Kaya tama ang nagising kapasyahan ng pamunuan ng Sandatahang Lakas ng Pilipinas na huwag mag deklara ng tigil putukan dahil alam namin na isa na naman itong patibong o kaya naman gagawin na naman nila itong issue laban sa AFP na kontra sa kapayapaan. Kasi natuto na tayo sa kanilang mga kasinungalingan at propaganda (This proves that the decision of the Armed Forces of the Philippines not to declare a ceasefire is right. It's because we know that this is just another ploy for them to be able to hurl allegations that the AFP is against peace. It's because we learned from their lies and propaganda)," he added.

Arevalo assured the public that they are not taking the rebel threats lightly and have ordered troops to take necessary precautions.

"Nasa mataas tayong alert level, hindi dahil sa banta na yan kundi sa pag-alalay sa PNP sa sandaling kailanganin nila ang tulong mula saAFP (We are on a high alert level not because of that threat. It's because we will help the PNP in case they ask assistance from the AFP)," he said. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency

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