Author Topic: PRRD: "Ceasefire does not deprive us of territorial jurisdiction"  (Read 2708 times)


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Duterte stands pat on troop deployment to rural areas
President tells Reds:  'This is the Republic of the Philippines. Security forces should be anywhere and everywhere'
By: Frinston Lim - @inquirerdotnetInquirer Mindanao / 03:53 PM November 28, 2016
Duterte 8
President Rodrigo Duterte. SIMEON CELI/Presidential Photo

DAVAO CITY – President Duterte has said he does not want the ceasefire with communist rebels to collapse but he is standing by the continuing deployment of government soldiers to the rural areas.

The President told the reporters that both the military and rebels have not been prevented by the respective unilateral ceasefires of the Philippine government on one hand, and the Communist Party of the Philippines, the New People’s Army and their negotiating arm, the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, from moving about in the provinces.

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“I have been very clear and categorical to them. This is the Republic of the Philippines. So the soldiers and police should be anywhere and everywhere,” he said.

But a regional spokesperson for the New People’s Army forces in Northeastern Mindanao, which covers Caraga region and parts of Northern Mindanao, particularly Bukidnon, has warned that the deployment of soldiers in these areas has been a clear counterinsurgency move, which undermines the goodwill of the unilateral ceasefires.

Ka Allan Juanito, the rebel spokesperson, said soldiers and police have been sent to 78 barangays (village) in at least 22 towns in Agusan del Sur and Agusan del Norte province and in the regional capital of Butuan City in Caraga, as well as in Bukidnon and Misamis Oriental provinces in Northern Mindanao.

Juanito said the deployments have defeated the purpose of the cessation of hostilities, which the Philippine government and the communists had separately declared as part of confidence-building measures between the two sides in the resumption of talks.

The NPA spokesperson has accused the military of conducting surveillance in communities in the guise of medical and dental missions, and supporting the police’s crackdown on illegal drugs.

Duterte said he has directed the military and police not to initiate contacts with communist forces to prevent armed encounters.

“We are on a ceasefire so do not fire a shot, do not initiate an encounter there because there’s a peace process. But (it) does not deprive us of territorial jurisdiction,” the President said. “The Republic of the Philippine should be the one to decide saan ko ilalagay ang mga tropa ko (where I should place my troops),” he added.

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