Statement of GENERAL FELIMON T SANTOS JR Chief of Staff, Armed Forces of the Philippines March 18, 2020
The AFP fully supports the President and Commander-in-Chief’s declaration of government’s own ceasefire to take effect 00:00 of 19 March 2020 to last until 23:59 of 15 April 2020.
By this declaration, the Commander-in-Chief shows clearly that he is willing to go beyond the usual means — including that of making temporary halt to hostilities with an arch-enemy of the state — if only to create the condition where troopers will not be attacked and the delivery of government services to and the provision of the needs of fellow Filipinos are unimpeded.
By the President’s action, the message is clear: the safety, health, and well being of our countrymen in the face of COVID-19 pandemic is primordial. I call on every soldier, airmen, sailors, marines, and reservists to continue their keen focus on their mission to protect our people from and assist medical health practitioners in the fight against this dreaded disease.
We have been through ceasefire declarations in the past where the NPA disregards government’s good faith. While I direct the troops to observe guarded optimism, your AFP will not be deterred by similar treacherous attacks by Communist Terrorist Group. We will be there where and when we are needed.