Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Gov't forces suspend offensive operations against the communist rebels

From the Philippine Information Agency (Jul 27): Gov't forces suspend offensive operations against the communist rebels

Members of the security sector in Davao Region have taken a defensive posture in compliance to the unilateral ceasefire ordered by President Rodrigo Duterte with the communist rebels.

Speaking in the AFP-PNP Press Corps briefing at the Royal Mandaya Hotel, Chief Inspector Andrea de la Cerna, spokesperson of the Police Regional Office XI said the police now comply with the suspension of combat operations against the rebels.

However, she stressed that the police will continue to perform its law enforcement functions against all forms of criminals like the campaign against illegal drugs and enforcement of all special laws.

“Given the guidance of our higher ups, we will comply with the ceasefire,” De la Cerna said.

She affirmed that Chief Inspector Arnold Ongachen, former police chief of Governor Generoso remains in the hands of the rebels who put him on trial in their “kangaroo court.”

De la Cerna said the rebels could hardly present hard evidence linking Ongachen to illegal drugs.

“With the forthcoming peace talks, we will work out to address the situation of Chief Inspector Ongachen,” she said.

Captain Rhyan Batchar, spokesperson of the 10th Infantry Division said that the soldiers immediately stop all offensive operations against the New People’s Army with the guidance of the commander-in-chief who is the president and the Armed Forces chief-of-staff.

He said that the military will continue to provide support to the enforcement operations of the police.

“We will continue to protect the communities and its people, and to secure vital installations of the government and government flagship projects,” Batchar said.

He said the military will continue to observe heightened alert since there is no positive response yet coming from the rebel forces if they will also declare a ceasefire.

Batchar said the unilateral ceasefire is solely observed by all government forces.

He recalled that there were recorded encounters a day before the declaration of the unilateral ceasefire.

Batchar said two soldiers and two rebels were killed in an encounter in New Bataan, Compostela Valley.

He also noted zero rebel-initiated atrocities since President Duterte declared a unilateral ceasefire in his state-of-the- nation address.

 Senior Inspector Catherine de la Rey, spokesperson of the Davao City Police Office said all police forces are on heightened readiness.

“We will not lower our guard against possible atrocities,” she said.

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