CPP declares Christmas truce
DAVAO CITY – The Communist Party of the Philippines directed all the fighting forces of the New People’s Army to halt tactical operations against government forces.
In a ceasefire order released on Sunday, the CPP said that the directive is a response to the recommendation of the National Democratic Front and government for a unilateral and reciprocal holiday ceasefire.
The ceasefire will take effect midnight of December 23 and will end 11:59 p.m. of January 7, 2020.
The CPP said that the ceasefire order for the NPA will be enforced after the government issues its reciprocal ceasefire order for state security forces.
“This ceasefire order shall take effect upon issuance of the corresponding and reciprocal ceasefire orders in the form of Suspension of Military Operations (SOMO) and Suspension of Police Operations (SOPO) to be issued by the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP),” the CPP said.
The communist movement affirmed that the declaration of unilateral and reciprocal ceasefires aims to create an environment that would help jumpstart the stalled peace negotiations.
“The purpose of the reciprocal and unilateral ceasefires is to generate a positive atmosphere conducive to the holding of informal talks preparatory to the formal meeting to resume the peace negotiations. These shall be measures of goodwill and confidence-building during the traditional celebrations of Christmas and New Year holidays,” the CPP said.
In the duration of the ceasefire, guerrilla fighters and militias of the NPA are prevented from initiating operations against the military and police.
“During the ceasefire period, all NPA units and people’s militias shall cease and desist from carrying out offensive military operations against the armed units and personnel of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), the Philippine National Police (PNP) and other paramilitary and armed groups attached to the GRP,” the CPP ordered.
The NPA will take “defensive” positioning but the CPP reminded its fighting units to keep a high level of vigilance for untoward hostilities.
“All units of the NPA and the people’s militias shall be on defensive mode at both the strategic and tactical levels. They shall nonetheless maintain a high degree of militancy and vigilance against any hostile actions or movements contrary to the ceasefire order. Active-defense operations shall be undertaken only in the face of clear and imminent danger and actual armed attack by hostile forces,” the CPP said.
“All branches and committees of the CPP, units of the NPA and people’s militias and revolutionary mass organizations should closely monitor any hostile actions being carried out by the armed units and personnel of the GRP. Such information should be reported to the concerned commands of the New People’s Army and leadership of the Communist Party of the Philippines,” the CPP added.
The Palace is expected to reciprocate the ceasefire declaration on Sunday evening.