The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) declared a two-day ceasefire effective Christmas Day and its 55th Anniversary, December 25 and 26, respectively.
In an announcement on its website, the CPP Central Committee as well as the New People’s Army (NPA) National Operational Command ordered all NPA units across the Philippines to suspend offensive military operations starting 00:01 of December 25 to 23:59 of December 26.
“The two-day ceasefire aims to allow the peasant masses and NPA units in their area to conduct assemblies, meetings or gatherings to celebrate the Party’s anniversary, look back at past achievements, and pay tribute to all heroes and martyrs of the Philippine revolution,” the announcement reads.
“This ceasefire declaration is also in solidarity with people’s traditional holiday celebrations,” it adds.
The CPP and NPA last declared a suspension of military operations in March 2020 in response to the global appeal by United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres for an end to hostilities because of the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. Earlier that month, then Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) President Rodrigo Duterte also announced his administration’s own ceasefire order in order to focus on its anti-Covid19 response.
The Ferdinand Marcos GRP has yet to respond to the new CPP-NPA ceasefire declaration.
Last month, the CPP-led National Democratic Front of the Philippines and the GRP simultaneously announced the signing of the November 23 Oslo Joint Statement revealing both parties have been engaged in a series of dialogue to look at the possibility of the resumption of formal peace negotiations between both parties.
In its ceasefire announcement today, the CPP and the NPA however cautioned all their units to remain alert “in the face of the relentless offensives, state terrorism and fascist crimes of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).”
“[A]ll units of the NPA are placed in high alert and must be vigilant and ready to act in self-defense to counter and frustrate hostile movement or actions of enemy units within the scope of the NPA’s guerrilla fronts and areas of operations. The NPA and the masses are advised to maintain a high level of secrecy in the conduct of their activities,” the announcement reads.
The NPA can resume its military offensive actions at 00:00 of December 27, it added. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)