GPH Panel Chair Secretary Silvestre Bello III expressed sadness over the ambush yesterday of government troops by members of the New People’s Army (NPA) in Sitio Patil, Barangay Gupitan, Davao del Norte.
“It is disheartening that the NPA failed to respect the unilateral ceasefire declared by President Duterte last Monday during the SONA. Barely two days after this ceasefire declaration, the NPA ambushed yesterday government forces killing one CAFGU member and wounding four others in Davao del Norte”.
Sec. Bello said that he confronted NDF Panel member Fidel Agcaoili on this tragic incident and he was informed that as far as he knows, the NPA is on active defense mode since July 26 as announced by Ka Oris. He, however, promised Sec. Bello to look into the matter. The GPH Panel Chair said that government will await the results of NDF’s verification on the matter.
Agcaoli further said that, just like PRRD, the NDFP is committed to resume the peace negotiations to address the roots of the armed conflict towards a just and lasting peace as reiterated in the 15 June 2016 Oslo Joint Statement that affirms all past agreements.
“I strongly reiterate the call of President Duterte to the CPP/NPA/NDF to reciprocate government’s ceasefire declaration in order to immediately stop violence on the ground, protect our communities from conflict, and provide an enabling environment for the resumption of formal peace negotiations”.
Sec. Bello made this appeal and stressed that as both sides continue to undertake preparations for the re-starting of formal talks on August 20-27 in Oslo, it is best that the government’s ceasefire is reciprocated unconditionally by the NDF to build trust and confidence on the peace process and more importantly bring peace in our communities for the good of the people.