Rebels declare truce

The Mindanao Examiner Regional Newspaper - - First Page -

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – The communist rebel group New People’s Army have declared a 12-day unilateral truce in the Philippines to allow its fighters to be with their family during the Christmas holiday.

Rebels have orders to halt attacks on military and police targets, including construction and mining sites, but they still maintain a high level of alertness as government forces continue its patrol in areas where the NPA is actively operating.

“The Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Philippines hereby declares to all commands and units of the New People’s Army and the people’s militias a ceasefire order that will take effect from 23 December 2015 to 03 January 2016.”

“This ceasefire order is being issued in solidarity with the Filipino people’s traditional celebrations of Christmas and New Year holidays. This will also enable the revolutionary forces to carry out mass assemblies and public demonstrations to mark the 47th anniversary of the CPP and celebrate revolutionary victories of the past year,” the rebel’s political wing, National Democratic Front of the Philippines, said.

The rebels have been fighting for a separate Maoist state for many decades now.

Just this year, communist rebels accused presidential peace adviser Teresita Deles of muddling efforts to restart stalled peace negotiations with the Aquino government.

Daniel Ibarra, a spokesman for the NPA, said Deles is trying to scuttle the resumption of the talks by peddling lies and black propaganda against the rebel group. He said Deles has strongly accused the NPA of murdering First Lieutenant Ronald Bautista, Private First Class Albert Amor and militiaman Renel Baluca during an ambush in December last year in Compostela Valley’s Mabini town and breaking a yuletide cease-fire.

“She peddled such a falsehood to discredit the revolutionary movement in an attempt to scuttle the resumption of the GPH-NDF peace negotiations and further muddle the substantive issues that should be resolved in the peace talks,” he said.

He said the ambush was a legitimate military action in retaliation to the long list of human rights violations by the military. “It is a legitimate politico-military operation by the masses that have long suffered and bore the brunt of fascism and economic dislocation as a result of foreign large-scale mining,” he said.

Ibarra warned that NPA rebels would launch more attacks against government troops who are acting as private armies of foreign and large-scale mining operators in the region.

Government peace talks with the NPA collapsed in 2004 after rebels accused then President Gloria Arroyo of reneging on several agreements, among them the release of all political prisoners in the country and the removal of the terrorist tag on the Communist Party of the Philippines and its political wing, the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, and the NPA.

Manila also suspended the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees after the peace talks failed. (Mindanao Examiner)

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