From the Philippine News Agency (Dec 14): Red offensive threat warrants ML extension: Madrigal
The one-year extension of martial law in Mindanao is warranted as New People's Army (NPA) rebels threaten to conduct a nationwide offensive, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief-of-Staff, Lt. Gen. Benjamin Madrigal said.
"Eh 'di all the more that we have a reason dun sa extension dahil dun sa ginagawa nilang pananakot 'di ba, (then we have more reasons to justify martial law extension based on their threats)," Madrigal told reporters Thursday.
Madrigal made the reaction after the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) threatened to conduct more offensives in response to the martial law extension in Mindanao until Dec. 31, 2019 in a bid to neutralize terror and other armed threats in the island.
The NPA, CPP's armed wing, is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States and the European Union.
Madrigal said troops are always on alert and have been ordered to take "proactive measures" to address rebel threats.
He added there is nothing new with the CPP order to intensify its offensives nationwide as it has been doing so even during declared unilateral ceasefires saying that the CPP does not have control over its forces on the ground.
Mindanao was placed under martial law in May 2017 to quash the ISIS-influenced Maute terrorist group that laid siege to Marawi City.