MANILA-- President Rodrigo Duterte met on Monday with top officials of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP) following an encounter between government troops and New People's Army (NPA) in Makilala, North Cotabato over the weekend.
"I'm sure it's going to deal with peace situation in Mindanao," Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said when asked by Palace reporters about President Duterte's scheduled meeting with AFP and PNP top brass on Monday.
President Duterte met with AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Eduardo Ano, Philippine Army Lt. Gen. Glorioso Miranda, Philippine Navy Vice Admiral Ronald Joseph Mercardo, Philippine Air Force Lt. Gen. Edgar Fallorina and PNP chief of Director General Ronald Dela Rosa.
The Makilala encounter took place five months after the government and the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) declared indefinite ceasefire to give way to an ongoing peace talks in Oslo, Norway.
Abella said the encounter that resulted to the death of a communist rebel will not affect the ongoing peace negotiations.
"It should not affect any of the ongoing talks. Ceasefire holds," Abella said.
He explained that the ongoing peace talks are focused on settling the disputes between the government and the communist rebels in the country.
Contrary to the NPA's claim that eight soldiers were killed in Makilala clash, Abella repeated an official statement from the AFP that there was no casualty from the government side.
Aside from the communist rebels, the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte is talking peace with the Moro rebels in Mindanao particularly with Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF). (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency