Army in Negros to continue ‘Bayanihan’ amid ceasefire

THE Philippine Army will continue its Bayanihan activities despite the seven-day ceasefire declared by the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing New People’s Army (NPA).

The seven-day truce of the rebels, set from August 21 to 27, was reciprocated by Malacañang, which announced that the duration of the ceasefire would last for as long as necessary.

From August 22 to August 26, the government peace panel and the consultants of the CPP-NPA’s political wing National Democratic Front will resume the formal peace talks in Oslo, Norway.

Second Lieutenant Ma. Revekka Roperos, public information officer of the Army’s 303rd Infantry Brigade based in Murcia, Negros Occidental, said the soldiers in Negros Island Region will abide by the order of the higher command.

“We will stop our combat operations,” Roperos said, but she pointed out that the army will continue with its presence in the communities.

“We will focus and intensify our Bayanihan activities because this is not combat in nature,” she said, adding that it’s also a support on other law enforcement agencies in their anti-criminality campaign.

Christian Tuayon, secretary-general of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan)-Negros, said they welcomed the ceasefire declaration of the CPP-NPA as this is in support to the peace talks to achieve just and lasting peace.

He added that he is hoping that both parties will come up and agree with a solution to address the armed conflict.

Still, Tuayon called on the army to pull out its forces in the communities as this is a violation of the truce.

“They should go back to their barracks,” he added.
Chief Supt. Conrado Capa, director of Police Regional Office-18, said that the ceasefire is “good for everyone,” adding the police supports the peace process.

On July 25, President Rodrigo Duterte had declared a ceasefire with the rebels, but lifted it after the latter failed to honor the truce.

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