AN OFFICIAL of the Army's 58th Infantry Battalion (58IB) said a ceasefire during the holidays could be an opportunity for communist rebels to recruit and get back at their former comrades who abandoned the armed struggle.
Commander Lieutenant Colonel Roy Derilo of 58th Infantry Battalion said while they are still open for peace talks, a ceasefire or a temporary suspension of military operations against the New People's Army (NPA) will only benefit the latter.
"Eventually, gusto mi peace talks para matapos na. Pero na-change akong views sa mga statements sa surenderer nga dili daw dapat mi mutuo sa ceasefire kay magamit daw sa NPA nga makapang-recruit," he said.
"Kay dili man mi kalihok kay ceasefire it will also be an opportunity for them nga balikan ang mga nag-surrender para patyon," Derilo added.
Government troopers from 58th Infantry Battalion on Tuesday, December 10, seized an arms cache in Mt. Obulan in Banglay, Lagonglong town, Misamis Oriental. Derilo said the former rebels provided them the information that led to the discovery of the NPA's supposed hideout.
Meanwhile, Misamis Oriental Governor Yevgeny Vincente Emano welcomed the possibility of the resumption of peace talks and ceasefire this Christmas.
"Mas maayo mobalik sa panaghisgot ang duha ka kampo, undangon una ang pinatyanay hilabina ning panahon sa pasko. Walay mawala kung pinaagi sa malinawon nga pagbinaylohay sa hunahuna maoy mopatigbabaw sa tanang nalambigit sa binaylohay sa bala didto sa kabukiran," Emano said.
(It is better that both sides will bring back the peace talks, stop the killings especially during Christmas time. There is no harm if peaceful discussion will prevail among those who were involved in encounters in the mountains.)
Emano said he hopes that the exchange of bullets between the two parties would stop.
"Dili na kinahanglan pa ang binaylohay sa bala ug pinatyanay sa isig ka Pilipino, tungod kay walay motumaw nga mananaug, inay kitang tanan pildero. Atong hatagan sa higayon ang kalinaw maoy maghari sa atong kasing-kasing ug hunahuna," he added.
(We don't need war and Filipinos do not have to kill each other because no one will win, actually we are all losers. Let us give peace a chance inside our hearts and minds. (PJ Orias)