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Military raises alert level

The military in the Davao Region has raised the alert level to preempt any plan of the New People’s Army to stage an attack as the rebel group is set to celebrate its anniversary on December 26.

“We are not celebrating with them that we need to give them special attention in this time of the year,” Lt Col Ezra Balagtey, spokesperson of Eastern Mindanao Command.

“Violence is their means,” he said, adding that the task of the soldiers “to secure the communities; we are relentless in our security operations and we are carrying this out with the strong support from the communities who declared them persona non grata.”

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has not recommended the suspension of military operations (SOMO) against the rebels.

In a text message, AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Noel Clement said past experiences showed that the rebels continued with their criminal activities despite the ceasefire.

While vowing to continue operations against the rebels, Clement also added they will pursue their community outreach programs.

“We foresee a very peaceful and more united Christmas,” he said.

Balagtey said that the security operations of the different military units in the ground will continue.

Last year, the government did not reciprocate the unilateral ceasefire issued by the Communist group.

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