DAVAO CITY – The Communist Party of the Philippines on Tuesday, declared a 12-day ceasefire for all the commands and units of its armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA), to observe starting from 12:00 am of December 23 up to 11:59 pm of January 3, 2016.

In a statement, the CPP said that the 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 statement added.

During the ceasefire period, the CPP said that “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 armed groups attached to the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GPH).”

But despite the ceasefire declaration, CPP said that all its armed units shall maintain a high degree of “militancy and vigilance against any hostile actions or movements of the enemy armed forces.”

“Hostile actions shall include: (1) encroachment on the territory of the people’s democratic government, (2) surveillance and (3) other offensive operations including so-called peace and development, civil-military or peace and order operations,” it said.

“Active-defense operations shall be undertaken only in the face of clear and imminent danger and actual armed attack by the enemy forces,” said CPP.

The ceasefire order “is being issued in support of efforts of peace advocates to foster resumption of GPH-NDFP peace negotiations on the basis of The Hague Joint Declaration, the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) and the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL).”

Meanwhile, the Armed Force’s Eastern Mindanao Command chief, Major General Rey Leonardo Guerrero, on Tuesday said they continue to be alert and vigilant for possible scenarios.

He said they are calling on the New People’s Army to unite for the spirit of Christmas.

“Ito na siguro yung pagkakataon na manawagan ako sa ating mga katunggali na palagay ko ito yung pagkakataon na magkakaisa tayo sa diwa ng pasko para masiguro natin na ang selebrasyon na ito ay magiging matahimik at mapayapa hindi lang sa nagtutunggaling pwersa kundi para sa lahat sa entire Eastern Mindanao Command (Maybe this is the time to call on our enemies to unite in the spirit of Christmas to ensure that the celebration will be peaceful not only to the warring forces but to the entire Eastern Mindanao Command),” said Guerrero.(davaotoday.com)

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