CPP de­clares 5-day cease­fire; AFP not re­cip­ro­cat­ing

Manila Bulletin - - Front Page - By ANTONIO L. COLINA IV

DAVAO CITY – The Com­mu­nist Party of the Philip­pines de­clared a five-day uni­lat­eral cease­fire with gov­ern­ment forces in ob­ser­vance of the hol­i­day sea­son and the party’s 50th found­ing an­niver­sary on De­cem­ber 26.

In a state­ment, the CPP said its armed wing, New Peo­ple’s Army (NPA), and peo­ple’s mili­tias have been or­dered to cease and de­sist from car­ry­ing out of­fen­sive mil­i­tary cam­paigns and op­er­a­tions against the mil­i­tary and po­lice start­ing at 12:01

a.m. of De­cem­ber 24 un­til 11:59 p.m. of De­cem­ber 26, 2018, and from 12:01 a.m. of De­cem­ber 31 un­til 11:59 p.m. of Jan­uary 1, 2019.

But the gov­ern­ment side is not re­cip­ro­cat­ing the ges­ture.

Armed Forces of the Philip­pines spokesper­son Brig. Gen.Edgard Arevalo said, “Be­ing uni­lat­eral, eh nasasakanila 'yun [it’s up to them] if they would like to de­clare it but in­so­far as the AFP is con­cerned, sinasabi natin na [what we are say­ing] we are not in­clined to rec­om­mend to the Pres­i­dent a hol­i­day truce this time,”Arevalo said.

De­spite the cease­fire dec­la­ra­tion, the CPP di­rected its forces to stay alert and main­tain a high de­gree of mil­i­tancy and vig­i­lance against al­leged hos­tile ac­tions of­gov­ern­ment forces and not to leave “the peo­ple de­fense­less and place their units in dan­ger.”

The CPP said the pub­lic can also visit their fam­i­lies and friends in ar­eas con­trolled by the NPA as long they do not com­mit crimes or have no “out­stand­ing war­rants for their ar­rest.”

The East­ern Min­danao Com­mand pub­lic in­for­ma­tion of­fi­cer Ma­jor Ezra L. Balagtey said the com­mu­nists “should prove not only in words but also in deed.”

He said the mil­i­tary will al­ways carry out its man­date to en­sure that the com­mu­ni­ties are able to en­joy a peace­ful cel­e­bra­tion of Christ­mas and the New Year.

The com­mu­nists warned it would can­cel the uni­lat­eral cease­fire if it sees that gov­ern­ment forces con­tinue their of­fen­sive against com­mu­ni­ties but it “can also be ex­tended by a few days if pos­i­tive con­di­tions arise.”

Casam­bre cou­ple ar­rested Mean­while, a mem­ber of the Na­tional Demo­cratic Front of the Philip­pines (NDFP) ne­go­ti­at­ing panel and his wife were ar­rested by joint po­lice and mil­i­tary forces in Ba­coor, Cavite mid­night Fri­day.

Rey Casam­bre, 67, and his wife Pa­tri­cia, 65 were on board a ve­hi­cle cruis­ing along Barangay Niyog 3, Molino Boule­vard, Ba­coor, Cavite at 12:10 a.m. when they were ap­pre­hended by el­e­ments of the Crim­i­nal In­ves­ti­ga­tion and De­tec­tion Group (CIDG-NCR, CIDG-4A), Cavite Pro­vin­cial Po­lice Of­fice (PPO), Philip­pine Army (PA), Philip­pine Air Force (PAF) and In­tel­li­gence Sec­tion of the Armed Forces of the Philip­pines (ISAFP).

Au­thor­i­ties re­cov­ered from the cou­ple's possession a cal­iber .45 pis­tol, a bun­dle of elec­tric det­o­nat­ing cord, var­i­ous am­mu­ni­tion, a frag­men­ta­tion grenade, two cell­phones, a lap­top and P6,000 in cash.

The PNP said Rey is the sec­re­tary of the Na­tional Ed­u­ca­tion Depart­ment of the Com­mu­nist Party of the Philip­pines (CPP).

The Kara­p­atan-Al­liance for the Ad­vance­ment of Peo­ple's Rights on the other hand said Rey is an ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor for the Philip­pine Peace Cen­ter.

PNP-CIDG Di­rec­tor Chief Su­per­in­ten­dent Amador Cor­pus said Casam­bre has war­rants of ar­rest for mur­der and two counts of at­tempted mur­der is­sued by Pre­sid­ing Judge Emilio Dayanghi­rang III of the Re­gional Trial Court (Branch 32) in Lupon, Davao Ori­en­tal.

Cor­puz clar­i­fied Casam­bre was ar­rested by virtue of the war­rant of the ar­rest and not be­cause he is a con­sul­tant for the NDFP. (With re­ports from Fran­cis T. Wake­field and Martin A. Sadong­dong)

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