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The unilateral ceasefire declaration by President Rodrigo R. Duterte with communist insurgents, while good-intentioned, could put the lives of soldiers in danger, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson warned yesterday.
The danger arises when the Communist Party of the Philippines-National Democratic Front-New People’s Army (CPP-NDF-NPA) refuse to respond positively “which seems to be the case at least for the moment since they are now demanding for the release of political prisoners before reciprocating with their own ceasefire,’’ Lacson said.
The NDF, quoting its chief negotiator Fr. Luis Jalandoni, said both sides should be able to exchange ceasefire declarations when peace talks resume on Aug. 20 to 27 in Oslo, Norway.
President Duterte issued the unilateral ceasefire declaration during his State-of-the-Nation Address (SONA) opening the 17th Congress at the Batasang Pambansa complex in Quezon city last Monday.
“What happens if NPA (the armed service of the communist insurgency) armed regulars put up temporary camps in the vicinity of far-away army detachments or even bigger units deployed in less fortified camps, with the NPAs ready to strike at the opportune time?’’ Lacson asked.
Lacson was a Philippine Military Academy (PMA) graduate and former Philippine National Police (PNP) director-general during the Estrada administration. (Mario Casayuran)