INTERIOR and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año said on Tuesday, December 10, that he will not recommend the declaration of a ceasefire with the communist rebels during the Christmas season as well as during the observance of the Communist Party of the Philippines’ (CPP) founding anniversary.
“No. I will not recommend a ceasefire,” he said.
“But we can give lasting change by welcoming those who will return to the fold of the law and start a new life. We’ll provide them (with) all the benefits and opportunities to become productive peaceful citizens,” he added.
Año was reported to be among the government officials included in the hitlist of the communist rebels.
Both the police and the military are also not pushing for a ceasefire.
The Philippine National Police (PNP) said it has alerted all its units to possible attacks by the communists.
Earlier, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said he will not recommend a ceasefire which is the usual practice of the government forces and communist rebels.
He noted that the communist rebels still attacked the government forces even during a ceasefire.
The CPP will celebrate its founding anniversary on December 26.
The government, through the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), has promised better lives to communist rebels who would surrender and lay down their arms through the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-Clip).
E-Clip is a peacebuilding and social protection program that provides livelihood assistance and other interventions to former New People’s Army (NPA) rebels and Militia ng Bayan (MB) members.
From July 2018 to November 2019, a total of P171.6-million in financial assistance has been released to 2,882 rebel surrenderers under the E-Clip. (SunStar Philippines)