The government’s decision to undertake fresh rounds of exploratory peace talks with communist insurgents and its their allied organizations is aimed at saving lives, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesperson Col. Medel Aguilar said on Tuesday.
“What I will say is the stand of the AFP in relation to the joint statement issued by the Government of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front. Now, what they see say here is that this resolution or the statement actually provides the vision, which is about ending armed struggle and transformation of the CPP-NPA-NDF [Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front],” he said during an interview with “Bagong Pilipinas Ngayon” aired by PTV-4.
He added that this initiative is in line with the AFP’s mission to defeat or neutralize the threat posed by the communist insurgents.
“Now, when you talk about ending armed struggle, it is actually the end-state or the direction of our campaign plan. Because what we want here is we have to stop or we want the CPP-NPA-NDF to abandon armed struggle. We see alignment [as] there as far as the objective of our campaign is concerned,” Aguilar pointed out.
He added they are also considering the farmers turned NPAs whom they want to save.
“If the NDFP [National Democratic Front Philippines] will declare the cessation of armed struggle, then probably these people can go down and embrace [the] amnesty program that we are offering and, therefore, that can save lives,” Aguilar said.