ILIGAN CITY, Philippines — The National Democratic Front of the Philippines has instructed the Moro Revolutionary Liberation Organization (MRLO) inside Marawi to defend their communities against local terrorist groups, Maute and Abu Sayyaf.
In a statement on Wednesday, Fidel Agcaoili, NDFP peace panel chair said: “The NDFP has already instructed the MRLO inside Marawi to assume home defense tasks against the Maute and Abu Sayyaf groups.”
Agcaoili added that the NDFP has also directed New People’s Army units who are close to Marawi to “redeploy for the purpose of mopping up, holding and blocking operations.”
He said both armed groups who are members of the NDFP can coordinate and cooperate with the AFP to avoid problems of getting mixed up with the Army and police units.
“The MRLO and the NPA can coordinate and cooperate with the AFP by keeping a safe distance, maintaining independence and initiative and avoiding problems of getting mixed up with the AFP and PNP units,” Agcaoili said.
The NDFP also reiterated their call for the government peace panel to come back at the negotiating table to discuss the terms of a localized ceasefire and the possible coordination and cooperation in the fight against terrorism.
“It is not too late to have such a meeting of the GRP and NDFPnegotiating panels because the terrorist attack on Marawi might still be prolonged or if suppressed soon, might recur in other parts ofBangsamoro,” Agcaoili said.
President Rodrigo Duterte reiterated his call to the NPA to join his government as he will take him as soldiers of the country during his speech before the 1st Mechanized Brigade at Camp Leono, Barangay Kalandagan in Tacurong City on Wednesday.
But he said he will only talk to the communists if they “give me the document na signed by the Norway — Norwegian government also because they offered the good offices for us to talk to them… So ibigay mo ‘yung dokumento at mag-usap tayo.”
“Kung wala ‘yan… We have been fighting, I said, for 50 years. You want us to fight for 50 years? Ganon ang gusto ninyo? P***, purgatory ‘yan sa Pilipino to be there for 50 years but ‘pag ayaw ninyo eh ‘di sige,” Duterte said.
The document refers to the bilateral ceasefire agreement. Both Parties agreed to forge an interim joint ceasefire agreement during the successful fourth round of talks held in The Netherlands last April.
The Agreement on an Interim Joint Ceasefire provides that it will be effective “until a permanent ceasefire agreement is forged as part of the Comprehensive Agreement on End of Hostilities and Disposition of Forces” or the Final Peace Agreement.
The NDFP stands that agreements on social, economic and political reforms should first be signed before a bilateral ceasefire.
“Implementing social, economic and political reforms is the only way to enduring peace,” the NDFP said in its statement on May 27. (davaotoday.com)