The New People’s Army (NPA) has announced unilateral ceasefire declarations effective from 6 pm of December 23 to 6 pm of December 26 and 6 pm of December 30 to 6 pm of January 2.
In a statement, NPA spokesperson Ka Oris (Jorge Madlos) said the rebel army’s National Operation Command “unilaterally declares to all commands and units of the NPA and the people’s militia a ceasefire in observance of the Filipino people’s traditional holidays and the Party’s 49th anniversary.
The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) will celebrate its 49th founding anniversary on December 26.
The NPA’s ceasefire declaration mirrored the Department of National Defense’s ceasefire order instead of President Rodrigo Duterte’s own order announced last Sunday.
Oris said that during the ceasefire periods, all NPA units and people’s militias shall cease and desist from carrying out offensive military campaigns against uniformed personnel of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP and its paramilitaries as well as the Philippine National Police (PNP).
The NPA and people’s militias shall remain on active defense mode, however, he added.
Oris recalled hostile actions and movements by the AFP during the six-month unilateral ceasefire from August 2016 to February this year “wherein the AFP occupied and forward deployed troops in at least 500 barrios nationwide.”
Oris accused the Duterte government of the political killings of 129 activists, illegal arrests of more than a thousand others as well as the mass evacuations of thousands more due to militarization, intense bombing and shelling.
The NPA spokesperson said that AFP and PNP personnel who have no serious “liabilities” shall not be arrested or subjected to punitive actions and will be allowed to enter NPA-controlled territories to visit relative and friends during the holidays. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)