NPA rebels declare temporary ceasefire in quake-hit areas
MANILA, Philippines – The regional command of the communist New People's Army (NPA) in northeastern Mindanao on Sunday, February 12, declared a temporary ceasefire in areas severely hit by Friday's 6.7 magnitude earthquake.
This is to allow for the delivery of humanitarian services.
The ceasefire covers the whole province of Surigao del Norte and the towns of Cabadbaran, Tubay, Jabonga and Santiago in Agusan Del Norte, according to NPA spokesperson Ariel Montero of the NPA's Regional Operational Command, Northeastern Mindanao Region.
It started on Saturday, February 11, and will end at 11:55 on February 20.
"This ceasefire is being declared to give the Red fighters of the NPA in Front 16, all government agencies, including the police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), and non-government organizations, the opportunity to inspect the areas affected, especially the mountain areas, for damages resulting from the earthquake," Montero said.
"This declaration of ceasefire is to enable the delivery of immediate aid to the masses and for them to be given assistance towards the rehabilitation of their damaged properties and livelihood," Montero said.
The earthquake that killed at least 6 left severe damage on infrastructure. Aftershocks continue to be reported, too, including one before the visit of President Rodrigo Duterte on Sunday. (READ: Duterte vows P2B in aid to Surigao)
Communities affected by the communist insurgency previously enjoyed a 5-month-old ceasefire when peace talks were smooth sailing.
The government and the NPA resumed violence this month after the 3rd round of talks because of unaddressed allegations of ceasefire abuses coming from both sides. – Rappler.com