THE Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) has declared a temporary unilateral ceasefire that would be in effect on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.
The five-day ceasefire was declared amid what communist rebels said were “all-out military offensives” by the government “in the countryside and relentless attacks against the legal democratic movement and all opposition forces which compel the people to heighten all forms of resistance against the regime’s ruthless armed suppression, mass murder, terrorist violence and brazen exercise of absolute power.”
The CPP’s central committee said the temporary unilateral ceasefire declaration is a show of unity with the Filipinos’ observance of the traditional holidays and provide the people and their revolutionary forces a brief period to pay tribute to their heroes and martyrs.
The CPP will mark and celebrate its 50th anniversary.
The CPP’s unilateral declaration of temporary ceasefire would be in effect from 12:01 am of Dec. 24 to 11:59 pm of Dec. 26, and again from 12:01 am of Dec. 31 to 11:59 pm of Jan. 1, 2019
The CPP said that during the days covered by the temporary ceasefire declaration, all units of the New People’s Army would cease and desist from carrying out offensive military campaigns and operations against the Armed Forces and the National Police.
“With this temporary unilateral ceasefire declaration, AFP soldiers and PNP personnel can also take a brief leave from their incessant but mostly fruitless military offensives to visit their families during the holidays. Those who wish to visit their families and friends in areas within the guerrilla territories of the NPA can do so freely so long as they have not committed any crime and there are no outstanding warrants for their arrest,” the CPP announced.
But the CPP also directed the NPA to stay on alert for active defense mode during this temporary ceasefire period, and to “maintain a high degree of militancy and vigilance against hostile actions or movements by enemy armed forces, including those laying siege on communities and subjecting people to armed suppression and violence in the guise of so-called ‘peace and development operations’ or ‘law enforcement,’ and those mounting combat operations with the aim of encircling units of the NPA.
“At no point during this temporary unilateral ceasefire period should the NPA leave the people defenseless and place their units in danger.”
It said the temporary unilateral ceasefire can be cut short or cancelled “if military offensives, armed suppression against communities and attacks against activists by the Duterte regime worsen in the next few days and weeks. On the other hand, it can also be extended by a few days if positive conditions arise.”