MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/22 December) — The New People’s Army (NPA), armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) has reciprocated Friday the government’s declaration Wednesday of a unilateral ceasefire.
In a statement posted on www.philippinerevolution.info, NPA spokesperson Jorge “Ka Oris” Madlos said the NPA declared the ceasefire “in observance of the Filipino people’s traditional holidays and the Party’s 49th anniversary.”
The CPP will mark its 49th year on Tuesday, December 26.
Madlos said the truce will take effect from 6:00 p.m. of December 23 to 6:00 p.m. of December 26; and 6:00 p.m. of December 30 to 6:00 p.m. of January 2, 2018.
The government ceasefire takes effect on the same dates, and also ends at 6 p.m. of December 26 and on January 2, 2018.
“During this period, all NPA units and people’s militias shall cease and desist from carrying out offensive military campaigns and operations against the uniformed armed personnel of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and its paramilitaries, and the Philippine National Police (PNP) of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines,” the statement said.
It added that “personnel of the AFP and PNP who have no serious liabilities other than their membership in their armed units shall not be subjected to arrest or punitive actions. They may be allowed individually to enter the territory of the people’s democratic government to make personal visits to relatives and friends.”
But NPA units will be on “active defensive mode in order to defend the people and revolutionary forces.”
The rebels will also observe “a high degree of alertness and preparation against any hostile actions or movements.”
Last month, Duterte declared there would be no ceasefire with the NPA this Christmas season.
He described the ceasefire [with the communists] as “an off and on thing which has become an endurance contest.” (MindaNews)