MANILA -- Military operations against New People's Army (NPA) are set to resume unless President Rodrigo Duterte orders otherwise.
This was stressed by Department of National Defense (DND) spokesperson Arsenio Andolong when asked on whether government forces can go on the offensive with the conclusion of the Yuletide truce effective midnight Wednesday.
"As far as the rules of engagements are concerned, when the ceasefire lapses tonight (Tuesday) at 11:59 p.m. then that automatically means that we will resume offensive combat operations unless the Commander-in-Chief orders otherwise," he added.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) implemented a unilateral ceasefire during the Yuletide Season which started 6 p.m. of December 23 to 6 p.m. of December 26 and 6 p.m. December 30 up to 6 p.m. until 11:59 p.m. this January 2.
Andolong added that the government is determined to resolve the insurgency threat as its solution is critical for national development.
"It is really a national priority, our peace and order situation is critical to achieving national development, we have areas (where) local economies are not prospering because of the activities of the terrorists, especially those engaged in kidnapping, arson, extortion and it is of paramount importance and in fact as far as DND is concerned, it is part of the policy guidance of the SND (Secretary of National Defense Delfin Lorenzana) to conduct focused operations so that this may be achieved," he added. (PNA)