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DAVAO CITY, Philippines (UPDATE) - The Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) ordered all units of the New People's Army (NPA) and people's militias to return to offensive mode after the government allegedly failed to comply with an agreement to extend its ceasefire order to January 15.
“This declaration is being issued upon the recommendation of the Negotiating Panel of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) after the failure of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GPH) to comply with the agreement last December 17-18 to extend its own ceasefire order to January 15,” the CPP in its memorandum circulated to NPA units.
The CPP said that the temporary ceasefire ordered by the communists was issued last December 20 and will be terminated a minute before midnight on Wednesday, January 2.
“The original CPP ceasefire declaration of December 20 was issued with the aim of creating favorable conditions for the resumption of peace negotiations being scheduled for this month,” the CPP commented.
The communists explained that the termination of the declared ceasefire aims to protect guerilla units after the government ends its own ceasefire.
“The CPP has decided to abbreviate the ceasefire order to ensure that units of the New People's Army and people's militias will not be placed in an unduly disadvantaged position when the Armed Forces of the Philippines ends its suspension of military offensives by midnight tonight,” the CPP said.
“The NPA and the people's militias should immediately assume an offensive posture and confront and frustrate the enemy campaigns of suppression, defend the people against the fascist onslaughts of the AFP and the armed agents of the Aquino regime and advance the strategic objectives of the people's war,” the CPP ordered.
The government panel refuted the statements of the CPP.
In its own statement, the panel said the CPP is “[more] interested in looking for excuses to resume violence than it was to seek peace.”
The government said the CPP’s statement on its failure to extend the ceasefire is not true.
“This is a false claim as shown by explicit provision of the Press Communique issued by the Norwegian Facilitator, the statement of Secretary [Teresita] Deles issued on December 20 affirming the extended ceasefire declaration, and the procedural processes undertaken by the security forces to officially confirm the extension of the [suspension of offensive military and police operations] that led to its formal announcement by the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police this afternoon, January 2.”
The government added that the CPP made another excuse in saying they did not want to be disadvantaged when the AFP ends its suspension of military offensives by midnight.
“Since the time that government made the ceasefire declaration, there have been no recorded violations by the military and police, which is a clear manifestation of our commitment to honor the ceasefire agreement.”
It added, “Government stands firm to the nationwide ceasefire agreed upon with the NDF which commenced on December 20, 2012 and will remain effective until January 15, 2013.”
The government peace panel includes Undersecretary Alexander Padilla as chair, and Jurgette Honculada, Lourdes Tizon, Edgar Dayanghirang and Lawyer Pablito Sanidad as members. - Rappler.com