Friday, February 3, 2017

SOLCOM observes unilateral ceasefire, SOMO 'unless terminated by President'
By Jorge Hallare

LEGAZPI CITY, Feb. 2 (PNA)—-Amid the pronouncement of a New People’s Army (NPA) official in Mindanao on the lifting of its unilateral ceasefire effective February 10, a top official of the Southern Luzon command (SOLCOM) of the Armed Forces of the Philippines said SOLCOM has remained “committed…to oberve unilateral ceasefire and suspension of military operations or SOMO will remain in effect unless terminated by the President.”

Lt. Gen. Ferdinand F. Quidilla, commanding general of Southern Luzon Command (Solcom) based in Camp Guillermo Nakar, Lucena City, said Thursday, "we remain committed to the order of the Commander-in-Chief President Rodrigo Duterte to observe unilateral ceasefire and suspension of military operation or SOMO will remain in effect unless terminated by the President."

Maj. Virgilio Perez, SOLCOM information officer, said Quidilla has directed all AFP units in Southern Luzon to remain on red alert status.

“Quidilla’s directive is to be vigilant to preempt any threat against lawless armed groups amid the pronouncement of a certain Jorge "Ka Oris" Madlos, NPA spokesperson, that they are lifting their unilateral ceasefire effective February 10,” said Perez.

Quidilla said the statement of Madlos has yet to be confirmed by their national organization (Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP)-and NPA) or if his statement has been officially recognized.

"Chief Peace Negotiator Fidel Agcaoili, in his statement Wednesday, said there has been no orders from CPP-NPA leaderships to revoke its unilateral ceasefire hence the unilateral ceasefire remains in effect," said the SOLCOM chief.

Quidilla gave assurance to the community in his area of responsibility, particularly in Southern Luzon, that includes the Bicol Region, that they will continue to heed the call of the people for a just and lasting peace.

He said Quezon province and the provinces of Sorsogon and Masbate in Bicol have remained as their priority areas in Southern Luzon.

"We will continue to assist civil authorities in the delivery of basic services and in securing the communities," he added. (PNA) FPV/GVR/JH/CBD