NPA to ob­serve hol­i­day cease­fire; Mil­i­tary says no Somo

Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro - - Nation -

THE Com­mu­nist Party of the Philip­pines (CPP) said Fri­day, De­cem­ber 7, that it will im­pose a tem­po­rary uni­lat­eral cease­fire in its ranks for the Christ­mas hol­i­days and for its 50th found­ing an­niver­sary.

The Armed Forces of the Philip­pines (AFP), how­ever, ear­lier re­jected the cease­fire, say­ing the com­mu­nist party has not been sin­cere with the agree­ment.

The cen­tral com­mit­tee of the CPP-New Peo­ple’s Army (NPA) said in a state­ment though that the tem­po­rary cease­fire is ef­fec­tive 12:01 a.m. of De­cem­ber 24 un­til 11:59 p.m. of De­cem­ber 26, and at 12:01 a.m. of De­cem­ber 31 un­til 11:59 p.m. of Jan­uary 1.

“The cen­tral com­mit­tee of the Com­mu­nist Party of the Philip­pines hereby de­clare to all com­mands and units of the New Peo­ple’s Army and peo­ple’s mili­tias a tem­po­rary uni­lat­eral cease­fire in unity with the Filipino peo­ple’s ob­ser­vance of tra­di­tional hol­i­days and pro­vide the peo­ple and their rev­o­lu­tion­ary forces a brief pe­riod to pay trib­ute to their he­roes and mar­tyrs as they mark and cel­e­brate the Party’s up­com­ing 50th an­niver­sary,” it said.

“Dur­ing the days cov­ered by this tem­po­rary cease­fire dec­la­ra­tion, all units of the NPA and peo­ple’s mili­tias shall cease and de­sist from car­ry­ing out of­fen­sive mil­i­tary cam­paigns and op­er­a­tions against uni­formed armed per­son­nel of the Armed Forces of the Philip­pines (AFP) and Philip­pine Na­tional Po­lice of the Gov­ern­ment of the Repub­lic of the Philip­pines,” it added.

The CPP said soldiers and po­lice­men as­signed in “guerilla ter­ri­to­ries of the NPA” may take a short break and take ad­van­tage of the time when they can visit their fam­i­lies and loved ones.

It said, though, that all units and com­mands of the NPA are di­rected to stay on alert for any pos­si­ble ac­tive de­fense from the gov­ern­ment side.

It said the cease­fire may be cut short or can­celled once the mil­i­tary at­tacks, but it may also be ex­tended if pos­i­tive con­di­tion arises.

“All Red fighters and com­man­ders shall main­tain a high de­gree of mil­i­tancy and vig­i­lance against hos­tile ac­tions or move­ments by en­emy armed forces, in­clud­ing those lay­ing siege on com­mu­ni­ties and sub­ject­ing peo­ple to armed sup­pres­sion and vi­o­lence in the guise of so-called ‘peace and de­vel­op­ment op­er­a­tions’ or ‘law en­force­ment,’ and those mount­ing com­bat op­er­a­tions with the aim of en­cir­cling units of the NPA,” it said.

“At no point dur­ing this tem­po­rary uni­lat­eral cease­fire pe­riod should the NPA leave the peo­ple de­fense­less and place their units in dan­ger... All Party or­gans and NPA units must con­tinue to closely as­sess the sit­u­a­tion, mon­i­tor en­emy move­ments, im­me­di­ately re­port the sit­u­a­tion and any in­ci­dent on the ground,” it added.

Ear­lier, De­fense Sec­re­tary Delfin Loren­zana said he re­fused to im­ple­ment a sus­pen­sion of mil­i­tary op­er­a­tions (Somo) with the CPP-NPA dur­ing the hol­i­day sea­son.

“No. I have ob­jected to a Somo. We shall not al­low the CPP to use a Somo to cel­e­brate their 50th an­niver­sary,” he said.

AFP spokesper­son Brigadier Gen­eral Edgard Arevalo said among the AFP’s rea­sons for not im­ple­ment­ing a Somo this year is that the CPPNPA has not been sin­cere with the agree­ment of cease­fire.

“They con­tinue with their ter­ror­is­tic and crim­i­nal ac­tiv­i­ties, ex­tor­tion, (and) ha­rass­ment... We do not want to give them the op­por­tu­nity to gather and mass up to joy­fully cel­e­brate their 50th an­niver­sary,” he said.

“Ex­pe­ri­ence told us, ex­pe­ri­ence showed us that (a Somo) is not worth it,” he added. (SunS­tar Philip­pines)

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