Communist rebels declare ceasefire in disaster areas

CEASEFIRE. The CPP declaration will be in effect not only Eastern Visayas but also in Panay, Negros, Masbate and Palawan. Photo by Rappler/Jake Verzosa

CEASEFIRE. The CPP declaration will be in effect not only Eastern Visayas but also in Panay, Negros, Masbate and Palawan.

Photo by Rappler/Jake Verzosa

GENERAL SANTOS CITY, Philippines - The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) on Thursday, November 14, ordered its armed wing the New People’s Army (NPA) to cease from launching attacks in provinces ravaged by Super Typhoon Yolanda

“This ceasefire declaration covers the following regional commands of the NPA:  Eastern Visayas Regional Command, Panay Regional Command, Central Visayas Regional Command and Negros Island Command,” the CPP said in a statement posted on its website. These areas bore the brunt of the super typhoon that many feared have killed 10,000 people.

The guerrillas also ordered regional units to “transmit this ceasefire declaration” in Masbate, Palawan and Mindoro. 

The 10-day unilateral ceasefire takes effect Thursday, November 14, and will last until midnight of November 24.

“With this ceasefire declaration, all local and international relief organizations are assured of safe passage through and into the calamity-affected guerrilla zones,” the rebel group said.

It added that local rebel commands can extend the unilateral ceasefire “based on their assessment of the extent of the devastation of the recent supertyphoon in their areas of responsibility.”

“While this ceasefire declaration is in effect, all units of the NPA and people’s militias shall remain in active defense mode. They will, however, remain ever militant and vigilant to the encroachment and hostile movements of the AFP within the territory of the people’s democratic government."

The guerrillas have been waging a protracted war for more than 40 years now, making the CPP the oldest armed communist movement in Asia.

The Samar provinces have been an NPA bailiwick. - Rappler.com