THE Eastern Mindanao Command (Eastmincom) has ordered all its field units to resume the offensive against the New People’s Army (NPA).
Lieutenant General Benjamin Madrigal Jr., Eastmincom commander, issued the order after the suspension of military operations (Somo) ended on Tuesday, January 2.
President Rodrigo Duterte has declared unilateral ceasefire that took effect at 6 p.m. on December 23, 2017, until 11:59 p.m. on December 26, 2017, and resumed at 6 p.m. on December 30, 2017 until 11:59 p.m. on January 2, this year.
“Continue protecting vulnerable communities from armed threats and deception of the NPA as they intend to conduct more terroristic acts as pronounced during their anniversary,” Madrigal told his troops.
He likewise ensured the public of the sustained conduct of Community Support Program in far-flung communities within Eastmincom's jurisdiction.
“Our efforts on assisting other line government agencies in facilitating the delivery of government services in the geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas must also continue and be pursued,” he emphasized.
He noted that the NPA rebels have staged attacks on troops in Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley provinces while the government’s Somo is in effect.
These included the following: attempted abduction of militiaman Arbilito Catampao on December 25 at Sitio Madian, Tubaon, Tarragona, Davao Oriental; harassment on militia patrol base in Melale, Laak, Compostela Valley province; the attempt to ransack houses but was prevented by responding troops in the evening of December 23 at Sitio Mabugnao, Las Arenas, Pantukan, Compostela Valley province; harassment on two Philippine Army units on January 2, 2018 at 2:20 p.m. and 6:40 p.m., in Panansalan, Compostela and Cabuyan, Mabini, both in Compostela Valley province.
Madrigal said these harassments were committed by the NPAs while the troops have strictly followed the Somo to give all Filipinos the time, including the NPAs to spend the holidays with their families without fear.