Philippine soldiers in a raid in Mindanao (Photo: AFP/VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has stressed its commitment to hunt down rebels from the New People’s Army (NPA) who have got involved in criminal activities.

The statement came after the February 3 announcement of President Rodrigo Duterte on ending the government’s unilateral ceasefire with the insurgent group due to a series of armed clashes in the past weeks.

In the statement, AFP Chief of Staff, General Eduardo Ano, said the move aims to prevent the rebels from conducting atrocities and criminal activities against the public.

The AFP welcomes the President’s decision, he said, noting that the gains of the last six months would be postponed because the NPA again resorted to violent acts and chose arms to gain interests.

Earlier, on February 1, the NPA said that it withdrew its unilateral ceasefire, because the government failed to keep its commitment on releasing 400 political prisoners and took advantage of the truce to enter areas controlled by the group.

In August 2016, the NPA announced a ceasefire, which was valid from August 28, 2016 to February 10, 2017, to pave the way for delayed peace talks with the government.

The fight between NPA and government soldiers has left nearly 30,000 dead since 1960. The NPA estimates its armed rebels at around 4,000 compared to its peak 26,000 in 1987.-VNA