President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday night ordered the immediate lifting of the unilateral ceasefire against the communist rebels.
“I am ordering all security forces to be on high alert and continue to discharge their normal functions and mandate to neutralize all threats to national security, protect the citizenry, enforce the laws and maintain peace in the land,” he said in a statement.
President Duterte declared unilateral ceasefire with the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) during his first State-of-the-Nation Address (SONA) last July 25 in line with achieving the government’s goal of final and lasting peace.
But the Chief Executive announced the lifting of the unilateral ceasefire that he ordered after the 5 p.m. Saturday ultimatum he gave lapsed without reciprocation from the communist rebels.
“Correspondingly, I am ordering the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police to also withdraw the operational guidelines they issued in pursuance to that ceasefire declaration,” President Duterte
In Davao City, Presidential Peace Adviser Jesus Dureza announced the lifting of ceasefire declaration by President Duterte at 7 p.m Saturday.
The President also ordered the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police to also withdraw the operational guidelines they issued in pursuance to that ceasefire declaration.
“I am ordering all security forces to be on high alert and continue to discharge their normal functions and mandate to neutralize all threats to national security, protect the citizenry , enforce the laws and maintain peace in the land,” the President said.
The lifting came after the National Democratic Front (NDF) failed to reciprocate the ceasefire declaration of the President for the 5 p.m deadline.
Although at 6:30 p.m the NDF said it would reciprocate the unilateral ceasefire but had asked for time to finish its investigation on the attack of the Army’s militiamen last Wednesday.
This was confirmed by GPH Peace panel chair Silvestre Bello Saturday evening as the 5:00 p.m deadline lapses for the communist movement to reciprocate ceasefire.
“Please give us time to finish our investigation of the incident as reported by concerned NPA command,” Bello quoted NDF spokesperson Fidel Agcaoili.
Bello said that in a conversation with Agcaoili, the CPP would reciprocate the President’s ceasefire declaration.
Duterte on Friday gave the CPP-NDF an ultimatum to also declare a truce after a rebel attack on militiamen on Wednesday, two days following the Chief Executive’s pronouncement of a unilateral ceasefire.
He gave the ultimatum during his visit at the 60th Infantry Battalion headquarters in Barangay Doña Andrea, Asuncion to visit the wake of the militiaman slain in the ambush by NPA in Barangay Gupitan, Kapalong, Davao del Norte.
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