Rebels declare 6-day ceasefire
MANILA, Philippines – The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) declared on Wednesday, December 18, a 6-day unilateral ceasefire for the holidays – 3 days for Christmas and another 3 days for the New Year.
The first 3 days will take effect at the first hour of December 24 until the last hour of December 26. The next 3-day ceasefire will take effect at the first hour of December 31 until the last hour of January 2, the CPP announced in its website.
All commands and units of the New People's Army (NPA) and the "people's militia" are expected to "desist from carrying out offensive operations" against the military, police, and other paramilitary forces.
The ceasefire also allows the CPP to celebrate its 45th anniversary on December 26.
There's no word from government yet. The military traditionally declares a suspension of offensive military operations during the holidays. Armed Forces chief General Emmanuel Bautista said they support a ceasefire to "give everybody a respite," but he added they will "leave it up to the Presidential Assistant to the Peace Process to recommend it."
Peace talks with the National Democratic Front (NDF) resumed under the Aquino administration but reached an impasse after disagreements. The military under Bautista aims to make insurgency "irrelevant" by 2016.
The CPP also earlier declared a unilateral ceasefire in Yolanda-affected areas. – Carmela Fonbuena/Rappler.com