Reds de­clare hol­i­day truce

The Freeman - - NATION - —

MANILA — Com­mu­nist rebels will not at­tack gov­ern­ment forces over the hol­i­days, the Com­mu­nist Party of the Philip­pines de­clared Fri­day.

The CPP cen­tral com­mit­tee said the tem­po­rary cease­fire will take ef­fect 12:01 a.m. of De­cem­ber 24 to 11:59 p.m. of De­cem­ber 26. An­other truce is set at 12:01 a.m. of De­cem­ber 31 to 11:59 of Jan. 1, 2019.

“Dur­ing the days cov­ered by this tem­po­rary cease­fire dec­la­ra­tion, all units of the New Peo­ple’s Army and peo­ple’s mili­tia shall cease and de­sist from car­ry­ing out of­fen­sive mil­i­tary cam­paigns and oper­a­tions against uni­formed armed per­son­nel of the AFP and the Philip­pine Na­tional Po­lice of the Gov­ern­ment of the Repub­lic of the Philip­pines,” it said.

CPP made the an­nounce­ment de­spite the po­si­tion of the De­part­ment of Na­tional De­fense and the Armed Forces of the Philip­pines that they are not in­clined to rec­om­mend that the gov­ern­ment de­clare the tra­di­tional Christ­mas truce with com­mu­nist in­sur­gents. AFP spokesper­son Brig. Gen. Edgard Arevalo on Wed­nes­day claimed that sus­pen­sions of mil­i­tary oper­a­tions have not worked to the best in­ter­est of Filipinos as the rebels “con­tinue with their ter­ror­is­tic."

“Ex­pe­ri­ence showed us that it’s not worth it,” Arevalo said.

The CPP will mark its 50th an­niver­sary on De­cem­ber 26. Its armed wing, the NPA, turns 50 in 2019.

For its 50th an­niver­sary, the CPP urged “rev­o­lu­tion­ary forces” to “strug­gle ar­du­ously to frus­trate” the Duterte ad­min­is­tra­tion.

The Christ­mas cease­fire has been a cus­tom­ary move by both sides since the launch of for­mal talks in the late 1980s.

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