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AFP welcomes Duterte demand for explanation

The Armed Forces of the Philippines yesterday welcomed President Duterte’s move to ask an explanation from the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front on the ambush perpetrated by communist guerrillas in Barangay Gupitan, Kapalong, Davao del Norte, Wednesday.

Col. Edgard Arevalo, chief of the AFP Public Affairs Office, said by his stern demand for an explanation, Duterte showed how sincere he is in ending decades of war with the communist front.

“That was a welcome move from the Commander-in-Chief from whose orders the AFP march onwards to the road to combat operations or the path to peace,” Arevalo said.

“By his stern demand for an explanation, President Rodrigo Duterte did not only send strong signals that he is sincere to end the years of strife by being the first to extend the hand for peace; he also underscored that those who truly desires peace must also manifest in unmistakable acts their adherence to that quest,” he added.

A Civilian Armed Force Geographical Unit member was killed while four others were wounded in the ambush.

The attack came two days after Duterte declared a unilateral ceasefire with communists during the State-of-the-Nation Address last Monday.

Reports said personnel from the 72nd Infantry Battalion were on their way back to their camp in Sitio Patil, Barangay Gupitan, from their forward deployment in compliance with the ceasefire when they were ambushed by suspected members of the NPA from Guerrilla Front 34 of the Southern Mindanao Regional Command. (Francis T. Wakefield)