DAVAO CITY – The Communist Party of the Philippines and the National Operational Command of the New People’s Army (NPA) has reciprocated the indefinite ceasefire issued by President Rodrigo Duterte with a declaration of an interim ceasefire to all commands and units of the NPA and people’s militias on Sunday, August 28.

On its website, the CPP said they declared the ceasefire following the recommendation of the Negotiating Panel of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines and the August 26 Joint Statement of the NDFP and Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) on the resumption of formal peace negotiations.

The CPP said that during the interim ceasefire period, all units of the NPA and the people’s militia 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 the Philippine National Police (PNP).

It also said that the NPA will not carry out arrests or punitive actions on soldiers and police “who have no serious liabilities other than their membership in their armed units.”

“They may be allowed individually to enter the territory of the people’s democratic government to make personal visits to relatives and friends,” it said.

However, the CPP urged the NPAs to remain vigilant against “hostile actions, provocations or movements of the enemy armed forces including encroachment on the territory of the people’s democratic government, surveillance and other offensive operations labelled as “peace and development”, “civil-military”, “peace and order”, “anti drugs campaign,” “medical missions” or “law enforcement.””

“Active-defense actions shall be undertaken only in the face of clear and imminent danger and actual armed attack by the enemy forces and only after exhausting counter-maneuvers to avoid armed encounters,” it said.

Meanwhile, the CPP also said that it will “continue to enforce policies and laws of the people’s democratic government, perform appropriate functions of governance, and mobilize the people and resources in territories under its authority.”

The CPP said the they also issued the ceasefire order to promote the peace negotiations between the NDF and the government.

The CPP said the interim ceasefire “will remain valid during the course of peace negotiations until superceded by a ceasefire agreement to be issued jointly by the NDFP with the GRP within the next 60 days or until a notice of termination of this ceasefire declaration takes effect 10 days after receipt of said notice by the GRP Negotiating Panel from the NDFP Negotiating Panel.”

The CPP and NPA said it was encouraged by the positive outcome of the formal talks held in Oslo, Norway on August 22 to August 26. (davaotoday.com)

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