By Mike U. Crismundo
Camp Bancasi, Butuan City – Combat maneuvering troops of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) are bracing for more gun battles and possibly “more intense” with the communist terrorists after President Duterte terminated the peace negotiations last week.
However, this time, field unit commanders said their operations would step up as the CPP-NPA is celebrating their anniversary next month (Dec. 26).
Field unit commanders under the AFP’s Northeastern and Northern Mindanao 4th Infantry (Diamond) Division (4th ID) said the New People’s Army (NPA), armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), may launch more offensives and atrocities for their CPP anniversary in December.
The field unit commanders under the 4th ID’s 402nd Infantry (Stingers) Brigade and 401st Infantry (Unity) Brigade and other operational control (Opcon) unit commanders are expecting more encounters and engagements with the NPA combatants in the next days after receiving tips from civilians and previous members of the armed group who returned back to the fold of the law.
But the field unit commanders of these units are giving options to the communist guerillas to surrender or face the operating troops on the ground.
While the state forces are going after the NPA, field unit commanders said their call remains for them to put their guns down and start a new, normal life through the aid of government programs.
“We are still open for them (CPP-NPA) to lay down their arms and return to the fold of the law and avail of the government’s peace and development program,” said 402nd Brigade commander Col. Franco Nemesio M. Gacal said.
He added that the military and the police are backing each other in the fight against terrorism and other threat groups.
Last week, top military and police commanders have met and discussed how to strengthen their ties and support system in fighting the armed group of the CPP-NPA.
Security measures being strengthened are key government and private installations, which include communication, power and water facilities.
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