AFP won’t declare Christmas truce with Reds, spokesman says

The Armed Forces will not recommend to President Rodrigo Duterte a ceasefire with communist rebels this coming holiday season, its spokesman said Thursday.

“Many times in the past, the communist terrorist group (CTG) has shown its incapacity for sincerity and for being unfaithful to a covenant,” Maj. Gen. Edgard Arevalo said in a statement.

According to Arevalo, communist rebels had even reneged from their own ceasefire declarations by attacking and killing soldiers on humanitarian and peace and development missions.

“During the incumbency of a truce, these terrorists continued their extortion activities and committed crimes of murder, arson, and the like.”

Arevalo said communist rebels also harp on peace talks “only to give themselves the chance to regroup, refurbish, recruit new members, and recoup their losses.”

“They broker peace covenants as a means to an end which is to overthrow government. And with these many hard lessons of the past, we will not allow them to trample upon our people’s bona fide desire for peace—not this holiday season—not until we have decisively defeated this menace to society.”

Arevalo, however, noted that the military still leaves it up to the President whether to declare a holiday truce.

AFP chief Gen. Gilbert Gapay assures the President of the AFP’s support to whatever decision the commander-in-chief makes in exercise of his prerogatives, he said. (John Roson)

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