President Rodrigo Duterte announced the immediate lifting of the unilateral ceasefire that he ordered against the communist rebels last July 25.
Through Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza, Duterte ordered the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police to withdraw the operational guidelines they issued in pursuance to that ceasefire declaration.
He further ordered all security forces to be on high alert and continue to discharge their normal functions and mandate to neutralize all threats to national security, protect the citizenry , enforce the laws and maintain peace in the land.
The announcement came an hour before the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Central Committee would have issued its own declaration of reciprocal ceasefire.
On July 28, Thursday, Duterte warned he would cancel the unilateral ceasefire if the New People’s Army (NPA) would fail to provide an explanation regarding the July 27 armed encounter between the NPA guerrillas and government troops in Kapalong, Davao del Norte.
The NPA unit involved in the incident said they merely thwarted a military offensive by the Civilian Auxilliary Force Geographical Unit (CAFGU) of the 72nd Infantry Battalion and Alamara paramilitary troops.
The NPA Southern Mindanao Regional Operations Command also issued a statement, saying there has been no let up in military offensives in the region.
Rigoberto Sanchez, spokesperson of the NPA-SMROC said that there is no conspicuous and veritable unilateral ceasefire exercised by AFP,PNP and paramilitary troops in Southern Mindanao, five days after Duterte proclaimed such an order.