AFP respects plan to give Reds chance
MANILA -- The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) respects the decision of President Rodrigo R. Duterte to give communist rebels another chance for peace negotiations.
“The AFP respects and supports the wisdom of the Commander-in-Chief in issuing such pronouncements,” AFP spokesperson Marine Brig. Gen. Edgard Arevalo said in a message forwarded to reporters over the weekend.
Earlier, Duterte announced that he will send Department of Labor and Employment Secretary Silvestre Bello III the Netherlands to discuss with Communist Party of the Philippines
founding chair Jose Maria “Joma” Sison his administration’s plans to give them another chance for a dialogue that will pave the way for peace talks.
“We understand that those instructions to Secretary
Bello are in the nature of exploratory discussion with Mr. Sison and are meant towards the attainment of sustainable peace which is the President’s and also the AFP’s ultimate desire,” Arevalo said.
The AFP, however, will continue with its successful
focus military operations in support of the National Task Force in Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict which is now is reaping the gains tremendously in terms of New People’s Army neutralization and the enormous support of the local government and the people, he added.
“If we are to negotiate, therefore, we so do from the position of strength,” Arevalo said. He also reiterated the AFP leadership, from past to present, is wholly supportive of the peace process along with the rest of the Filipino nation who is yearning for lasting and legitimate peace.
“Time and again, the AFP leadership from the incumbent Chief-of-Staff General Noel Clement and his predecessors, we unequivocally commit to all-out peace that shall embody the aspirations of our people who have long been yearning for it,” Arevalo said.