THE proclamation of President Rodrigo Duterte naming the New People's Army (NPA) as a terrorist organization is a big blow to the communist rebels, according to a military official based in the Visayas.

Colonel Medel Aguilar on Wednesday blamed the insurgents for forcing the President to brand them as terrorists.

"Kasalanan nila yan, yun na man ang ginagawa nila. Seguro ito na yung pagkakataon para sa mga tao, lalo na sa mga miyembro nila ngayon, na seguro mag-isip-isip na saan ba talaga sila papunta, (It's their fault, it is what they have been doing. Maybe this is the time for people, especially their members to think about their direction)" said Aguilar, the spokesperson of Armed Forces of the Philippines-Central Command.

He said they will accept anyone who wants to return to the government fold.

Aguilar said they have yet to receive the implementing orders from the headquarters, but they have not loosened their guard in securing the communities from the insurgents.

"Tuloy-tuloy yung mga patrols natin," he said. "Kung nakikita natin na may malaking grupo na armado na alam naman natin ang plano ay manggulo o kaya mang-extort sa mga communities, we will what is necessary and what is required in order to protect our communities." (KAL/SunStar Cebu)