By Rocky Nazareno
The National Democratic Front (NDF) today offered a Mindanao-wide ceasefire with government forces to enable communist rebels to focus their combat operations against the Maute and other terrorist groups wrecking havoc in Marawi City and other parts of Southern Philippines.
The NDF, in a statement issued today by its negotiating panel chairman Fidel Agcaoili, announced that it has recommended to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) that the New People’s Army (NPA) “abstain from carrying out offensive operations against the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP).
The cessation of hostilities, according to the NDF, may commence as soon as the Philippine government orders the AFP and PNP to abstain from carrying out offensive operations against the NPA and people’s militia.
The rebel group declared that communist rebels “stand firmly with the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) in opposing and fighting terrorism, terrorist groups and acts of terrorism.”
“We condemn and are resolved and determined to counteract the Maute, Abu Sayyaf and Ansar Al Khilafah Philippines (AKP) groups which are wreaking havoc in Marawi City. These are terrorist groups linked to local reactionary forces, affiliated with ISIS and supported by US-CIA and other foreign entities,” the NDF pointed out.
The rebel group disclosed that it has already directed its allied group operating in Marawi City, the Moro Resistance and Liberation Organization (MRLO) “to assume home defense tasks against the Maute, Abu Sayyaf and AKP groups.”
According to the NDF, “the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) has also directed units of the New People’s Army (NPA) close to Marawi City to redeploy for the purpose of mopping up, holding and blocking operations, if necessary.”
The NDF also declared its readiness “to discuss and agree in detail with the GRP on how ceasefire, coordination and cooperation can be achieved in Marawi City by both forces unilaterally keeping safe distances between each other.”
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