Police on high alert after Duterte calls off ceasefire

Police chief issues memorandum to all units after Philippines president calls off ceasefire with Communist rebels

Police on high alert after Duterte calls off ceasefire

World Bulletin / News Desk

Police in the Philippines have ordered the lifting of the suspension of all operations against communist rebels, according to a report Sunday.

The Philippine Daily Inquirer reported Police Chief Dir. Gen. Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa as issuing a memorandum to all units Sunday to be on “high alert” after President Rodrigo Duterte decided to call off the unilateral ceasefire he declared during his first State of the Nation Address on July 25.

The order comes with presidential peace adviser Jesus Dureza supposed to be preparing for peace talks scheduled for Aug. 20-27 in Norway between the two sides, aimed at bringing an end to a 40-year insurgency.

“A lifting/withdrawal of Suspension of offensive police operations... is hereby declared nationwide effective immediately today," the memo read.

It ordered all units to be on high alert and mandate to neutralize all threats to national security, protect citizenry, enforce law and maintain peace in all areas of responsibility.

On Saturday, Duterte called off his ceasefire order after the 5 p.m. (0900GMT) ultimatum he gave Friday lapsed without reply from the communist insurgents.

According to the military, rebels from the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), the New People's Army, (NPA), had ambushed a Citizens Armed Forces Geographical Unit in a village in southern Davao del Norte province July 27, killing a government militiaman and injuring four others.

But in an interview Saturday evening, exiled communist leader Jose Maria Sison said the rebels were expected to declare their own ceasefire at 8 p.m. Saturday -- three hours after failing to meet Duterte's deadline to match his truce declaration.

President Duterte subsequently ordered all government forces to continue performing their functions to “neutralize all threats to national security”.

Duterte has been making peace overtures to the NDF since he started to campaign for this year's presidential election.

He has sought to bring the rebels back to the negotiating table in an effort to end a Maoist insurgency -- one of the world’s longest running -- that has claimed 30,000 lives since the late 1960s.

Communist leader Sison said Friday that the rebels should be given more time to study the ceasefire offer.

“The CPP and NDF [the CPP's political wing, the National Democratic Front] should be given enough time to study the implications and consequences of the GRP [government] ceasefire order and what will soon be the CPP unilateral ceasefire order on the NPA."

Güncelleme Tarihi: 31 Temmuz 2016, 15:30