To help fight vs terror, NDFP urges suspension of Mindanao NPA operations vs AFP, PNP

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Marawi smoke billows
Smoke billows from fires in Marawi. (photo by Romeo Ranoco, Reuters)

MANILA, Philippines — The National Democratic Front of the Philippines said Saturday it has recommended that the Communist Party of the Philippines order the New People’s Army in Mindanao not to carry out attacks on government security forces to allow them to “concentrate” against extremist groups in Marawi City.

The NDFP, which represents the rebels in peace talks with government, made the recommendation as it reiterated “our previous declaration that we stand firmly with the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) in opposing and fighting terrorism, terrorist groups and acts of terrorism.”

“We condemn and are resolved and determined to counteract the Maute, Abu Sayyaf and Ansar Al Khilafah Philippines (AKP) groups which are wreaking havoc in Marawi City,” it said, adding it was “ready to discuss and agree in detail with the GRP on how ceasefire, coordination and cooperation can be achieved in Marawi City by both forces unilaterally keeping safe distances between each other.”

At the same time, it said the “level of counteraction against terrorism, as well as the nature, scope and duration must be appropriate and proportional to the degree of danger, threat and/or harm and mayhem being committed by the terrorist groups” and should “cease in order to allow normalcy and full respect for human rights as soon as possible” after the threat has ended.