THE Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) here in Mindanao backs the recent pronouncement of President Rodrigo Duterte to declare the communist groups as terrorists, citing that their actions do not longer conform to the ideology they stand, this after a four-month-old infant was killed during one of their attacks.

Philippine Army’s 10th Infantry Division (ID) Division Public Affairs Office (DPAO) chief Captain Jerry Lamosao said in a statement posted on their Facebook page that the communist guerrillas have been relentless in launching attacks against uniformed personnel, civilians, and companies.

This move manifests that they no longer live up to their principles as a revolutionary movement.

“NPAs will be considered as terrorists, ordinary brigands, and no more about principles. They are not fighting for any principle,” Lamosao said.

Last Saturday, November 18, Duterte announced his plan to issue a proclamation tagging communist rebels as "terrorists, following the ambuscade staged by the rebels that resulted to the death of a four-month-old baby who succumbed to a gunshot wound in her head and a police officer, while six, including three civilians, were wounded in the village of Tikalaan, Talakag town, Bukidnon, on November 9.

"I'll be issuing a proclamation. I will remove them from the category of a legal entity or at least a semi-movement which would merit our attention, placing them pareho sa (the same as in) Amerika, terrorist," Duterte said in his speech, as he no longer planned to pursue peace talks with the rebels.

The proclamation will be issued removing the NPAs from the category of a legal entity or at least a semi-movement, which would merit attention, placing them as “terrorist” as in America.

The 10th ID, meanwhile, vowed to conduct offensive operations to hunt down NPAs in its area of responsibility to protect the communities against planned attacks of the lawless armed group.

Major General Noel Clement, 10ID Commander, said that the actions taken by the NPA rebels are terrorist acts that do not longer push forward their agenda in protecting the masses.

“The acts of NPA no longer conform to an ideology they are fostering. There is no difference between them and the common criminals,” he said.

The NPA are notable for their atrocities including the burning of trucks and buses, recruitment of minors to join their ranks, deceiving the masses with their false propaganda, burning of facilities, extortion and treacherous attacks.

“We are calling the undying support of the people to continuously be vigilant and report to the police or military units with the cooperation of the local government units, the presence of these ‘criminals’ in your communities. I would just like to remind everyone that cuddling of criminals is punishable under the Law. The government is still true to its program for those who want to surrender and that 10ID also supports the Comprehensive Local Integration Program of the Provincial Local Government,” Clement added.