Communist rebels restore holiday ceasefire-A A +A
Thursday, January 3, 2013
THE Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) went back Thursday to its original plan of ending the ceasefire on January 15 after the National Government earlier announced its own suspension of military operations (Somo).
In a statement, the CPP said its Central Committee declares to all commands and units of the New People’s Army (NPA) and the people’s militias that the end of the ceasefire established on December 20 has been restored to 11:59 p.m. of January 15.
"Specifics of the December 20 order will remain valid for the duration of this order. This declaration overrides an earlier order by the CPP-CC abbreviating the ceasefire to 2359H of January 2," the CPP said.
On Wednesday, the CPP terminated its ceasefire after the National Government’s formal declaration extending the truce was delayed.
But on the same day, the Government of the Philippines (GPH) panel said in a statement that the truce will remain effective until January 15.
The CPP said the "Aquino government did not promptly order the extension of its earlier suspension of offensive military and police operations," adding that Defense Secretary' Voltaire Gazmin's recommendation to extend the truce "was forwarded only yesterday (Wednesday) noon."
The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) recommended the restoration of the extended ceasefire "after being belatedly informed" of President Benigno Aquino III's formal order extending the truce, the CPP said.
The CPP also condemned the "continued military operations" of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) despite the ceasefire.
"In spite of its own Somo/Sopo, the AFP refused to withdraw its armed squads stationed in communities, erected checkpoints to restrict people’s movements and carried out pursuit operations against units of the New People’s Army,” the CPP said in a separate statement.
However, the Somo does not prohibit the military from fulfilling its "constitutional mandate, which is to protect the people and the state," said AFP spokesperson Colonel Arnulfo Burgos in an interview on state-run People's Television Network.
Burgos said checkpoints and arrests are being conducted as part of law enforcement operations.
On the other hand, the CPP also expressed hope that the re-extension of the ceasefire order will help push forward peace negotiations between the GPH and the NDFP. (Emmanuel Louis Bacani/Sunnex)