AFP to communist rebels: End senseless attacks

Rappler.com
AFP to communist rebels: End senseless attacks
The Armed Forces of the Philippines calls on the NPA to ‘embrace peace’

MANILA, Philippines – Embrace peace, lay down your arms.

On the eve of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP)’s 46th anniversary, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) called on the rebels to “abandon the use of armed violence” and “embrace peace” to solve the country’s pressing problems.

The CPP celebrates its anniversary on Friday, December 26

“It has been proven that nobody is a real winner in bloody armed conflicts. We are witness to the endless misery experienced by our own people who are caught in the crossfire,” the AFP said in a statement released on Christmas Day, Thursday, December 25.

The military recounted the following “atrocities” carried out by the CPP’s New People’s Army (NPA) in 2014:

“The senseless attacks perpetrated by the NPA against peaceful communities and infrastructure projects have caused more suffering and denied the people of development in the countryside,” the AFP said.

“We can have the choice between a better life for ourselves and our children by embracing peace or continued violence and poverty through bloody armed conflict. The door for reconciliation and healing remains open to all our misguided brothers who want to embrace peace,” the military added.

Although their numbers have been dwindling, the NPA insists their bases have, on the contrary, been “rapidly expanding.”

In March 2014, the NPA suffered a huge blow when two of its top leaders, Benito and Wilma Tiamzon, were caught by Philippine authorities. The two are detained inside the Philippine National Police (PNP)’s Custodial Center in Camp Crame.

The AFP chief of staff then, General Emmanuel Bautista, said the Tiamzon’s arrest was the beginning of the end of the community movement. (TIMELINE: Arrest of CPP-NPA leaders under Aquino)

The CPP declared a ceasefire during the Christmas season, their anniversary, the New Year’s, and Pope Francis’ scheduled visit to the country. Ahead of the ceasefire, however, suspected members of the NPA allegedly torched construction equipment in Camarines Norte. – Bea Cupin/Rappler.com

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