MANILA-- The New People's Army (NPA) decision to terminate their unilateral ceasefire effective 11:59 p.m. Feb. 10 will have no effect on military deployments in Basilan and Sulu where an offensive against the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) and terror threats are now in full swing.
This was stressed by Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana in an interview Thursday.
"No effect. That is their ceasefire, we have our own that we have recommended we continue to implement. The termination of their ceasefire will not affect the deployment of forces in Basilan and Jolo," he stressed.
And despite the NPAs conducting pinprick attacks on military and civilian targets in Northern Mindanao, Lorenzana said the DND is not recommending that the government lift its own ceasefire.
"We have recommended that we continue observing our ceasefire," he said.
But in case the rebels persist in attacking military units going about their lawful business, the DND chief said the Armed Forces can retaliate.
"We can always fight back," he stressed.
And while the decision to maintain the ceasefire needs to be approved by President Rodrigo Duterte, the rationale behind this is to demonstrate the government's sincerity to work for peace, he added. (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency