Local peace body seeks holiday truce

The Davao City Local Peace Committee is batting for a peaceful celebration of Christmas this year thru a cessation of hostilities with communist rebels.

Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio said Monday the DC-PEACE asked her to talk with the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police for a possible declaration of suspension of military operations (SOMO).

The mayor said she will think about it, noting that a truce had been declared in previous years.

December, she added, is a season of peace, giving and forgiving.

Duterte-Carpio said if she sees that the local armed group is sincere in talking with the local government, then there will be no problem asking the AFP and PNP to declare a SOMO.

In a media interview on Saturday, President Rodrigo Duterte hinted he was amenable to a SOMO in December but said he would still refer the matter to the AFP and PNP.

“If (situation) gets worse, then I will ask the military, ‘Are we good or are we not good?’” he said, adding, “And I will ask the police, ‘Kaya ninyo i-control o hindi (Can you control or not)?’”

When he was the mayor of Davao City, Duterte asked AFP for a holiday truce to allow the NPA rebels to celebrate Christmas with their families in the city.

The President was concerned about ongoing lawlessness involving the New People’s Army (NPA) the past weeks especially in Mindanao provinces.

In fact, he said he would proclaim the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) as a terrorist group.

He said he was no longer inclined to push the peace negotiations between the government and the communist movement. The President said he would give his soldiers a break then “we will also go to the offensive” against the NPA.

“We will study and maybe we will have a crackdown here somewhere. Nagsasawa na ako dito sa kalokohan nila. So ‘yang lahat ninyong pretending to be speaking for the people ‘yung mga quasi ano ninyo diyan, legitimate kunwari (I am sick with their foolishness. So everything that you are pretending to be speaking for the people and your quasi, legitimate pretenses),” he said.

But the President said he would give a chance to the rebels who have reached their senior years, to surrender and they would be provided with housing and work.(PNA)