The Daily Manila Shimbun


Military vows to use all resources in all-out war vs NPA

February 7, 2017

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said it will use all available assets on its all-out war against the New People’s Army (NPA).

“When you talk about all-out war it only means, we are going to make use of all available assets of our armed forces to accomplish our mission, by all-out war,” Col. Edgard Arevalo, AFP Public Affairs Chief, told reporters in Camp Aguinaldo Wednesday.

“When we say all-out aside from being deliberate and focused we will also be surgical, be planned, our intention is to defeat the enemy, to defeat the New People’s Army not only their military capability, but also the infrastructure, the support system if there are still remaining and destroy the enemies,” Arevalo added.

Arevalo clarified that all-out war does not mean the military will going to be “indiscriminate” in the conduct of its operations against the rebel group.

“Our operations will always and has always been focused and determined but we are not going to be indiscriminate,” he said.

The all-out war against the communist group was declared after President Rodrigo Duterte terminated the unilateral ceasefire of the government forces as well as the peace negotiations with the National Democratic Front (NDF) last week.

Following the termination of the peace talk, Duterte ordered security forces of the government to arrest the NDF consultants who were released to participate on the peace negotiation.

With the directives issued by Duterte, Arevalo emphasized that those  NDF members who were not covered by Joint Agreement on Security and Immunity Guarantee (JASIG) should turn themselves to the court as they will be arrested by authorities.

“With the declaration of the president terminating the peace talks with the CPP-NPA-NDF, it effectively informed the negotiators from both sides of the table to wind up activities and come home immediately. The NDF negotiators should comply forthwith especially those who are on bail because the ground for the grant of bail that is for negotiation has ceased to exist,” he said. “The negotiators therefore should surrender themselves to the courts where they have, we submit, have taken judicial notice of the pronouncement of the president terminating the talks, failing to that the negotiators are deemed to have jumped bail  and therefore susceptible and can be validly arrested,” he added. Arevalo said those who are covered with JASIG are the CPP NPA NDF consultants who were not released from detention because of the peace talks. “On the invocation of JASIG, the NDF negotiator cannot validly invoke the joint agreement on security and immunity guarantee, that agreement applies only to those who are in hiding whom the government invites to participate in the peace talks and to encourage them to go out and provide them safety conduct pass, meaning they are in hiding, they are being invited to join the peace talks,” he said. “That’s why by virtue of the JASIG they are going to be issued safe conduct passes, the negotiators in question are serving prison terms or at least facing charges that are of non-bail able crime and hence they are out of prison not by virtue of safe conduct passes but of bail,” he added. “Those who would like to invoke JASIG as I already mentioned earlier they may have if they are entitled to JASIG, they may have 30 days to go back in hiding or to go back to hiding but those who are not entitled to the provisions of JASIG just I have mentioned and discussed earlier we do not give them 30 days just like those who are entitled to JASIG, they should immediately turn themselves up to the court and go back to the custody of the law because they are serving prison terms, we are not to wait for 30 days until they escape before we get them arrested,” Arevalo said. Arevalo could not give specific number of the NDF consultants that are not covered by JASIG. Robina Asido/DMS