Communists backtrack, re-extend ceasefire
MANILA, Philippines - The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) announced Thursday, January 3, they will extend the ceasefire with the government up to January 15, backtracking from their statements Wednesday, January 2, to end it.
The CPP said the move came after a belated extension of the ceasefire by the government side.
"The Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Philippines hereby declares to all commands and units of the New People’s Army (NPA) and the people’s militias that the end of the ceasefire declared on December 20 has been reextended to 2359H of January 15," the rebel group said in a statement released Thursday.
"This declaration is being issued upon recommendation of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) after being belatedly informed of the formal order by the president of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GPH) Benigno Aquino III extending the suspension of offensive military and police operations of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP)," they added.
The group said the government only informed the military and police of the extension hours after the CPP announced the end of the ceasefire.
They also said the GPH did not answer communications that aimed to clarify the temporary cessation of hostilities.
On Wednesday, the CPP's Central Committee 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.
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 communists explained that the termination of the declared ceasefire aims to protect guerrilla units after the government ends its own ceasefire.
The government, on the other hand, denied this, saying the other party is just "looking for excuses" to resume violence than to continue the talks.
The government said they did extend the ceasefire, citing the statement from Secretary Teresita Deles and the announcements made by the military and police.
Deles' statement, the government said, was through a Press Communique issued by the Norwegian Facilitator last December 20, while the military and army announcement was made only Wednesday. - Rappler.com