From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Jul 6): NPA rebs still the enemy–AFP chief
The Armed Forces of the Philippines still classifies the communist New People’s Army (NPA) as an enemy of the state pending its return to the negotiation table, the new AFP chief said here on Tuesday.
“Until there is no formal resumption of peace talks, we shall continue pursuing [communist rebels in the provinces],” said Gen. Ricardo Visaya on the sidelines of a program for the 69th founding anniversary of the Philippine Air Force at the Haribon complex here.
Before he assumed office, President Duterte had set in motion the continuation of talks which broke down when Benigno Aquino III was president. Mr. Duterte also appointed Cabinet members who are identified with the Left.
Visaya said the priority of the AFP under his watch remains the internal security. “In three to six months, there shall be change (in terms of dealing) with the Abu Sayyaf and our support to the (Philippine National Police).”
“For now, we are monitoring (the NPA’s) activities,” he added.
Founded in 1968 as the armed wing of the new Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), the NPA has been waging the longest guerrilla war in Southeast Asia.