Official: Army abiding with ceasefire

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Saturday, December 28, 2013

THE Philippine Army in Negros Occidental is abiding with the ceasefire declared by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) during the Christmas and New Year holidays.

Colonel Jon Aying, commander of the 303rd Infantry Brigade based in Murcia town, bared this after the AFP announced a 26-day Suspension of Offensive Military Operations (Somo) from December 20 to January 15.

He said that with the Somo, all deliberate offensive military operations in his area will also be suspended.

However, Aying said government troops will continue with their presence in communities by maintaining security patrols aimed to protect civilian populace, government and private infrastructures, and military camps and detachments to maintain peace and security in these areas.

He echoed the statement of Major General Aurelio Baladad, commander of the 3rd Infantry Division (ID), that government troops will also maintain their activities supporting the government and civil authorities’ peace, development and humanitarian assistance programs.

Baladad said the Army's 3rd ID also takes time to recognize and acknowledge the efforts of its soldiers working round-the-clock in maintaining peace and security in the local communities and in the conduct of humanitarian assistance and disaster response operations.

Moreover, taking into consideration the transgressions of the New People's Army in the past that took advantage of the ceasefire of the AFP, Baladad said the military will continue with its proactive defense countermeasures to prevent imminent NPA attacks.

"We will not allow the past transgressions and violations committed by the CPP-NPA that stained the holidays with violence to happen again this year. Our forces remain vigilant especially in protecting the civilian communities," he added. (TDE)

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on December 29, 2013.

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