Rebels join relief efforts for ‘Sendong’ victims

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They also promise to respect local truce declared in the area

MANILA, Philippines – Northern Mindanao being one of its few remaining bailiwicks, the Communist Party of the Philippines has ordered its forces to help in rehabilitation efforts for victims of Tropical Storm “Sendong.”

“The CPP calls on all Party committees and branches, all units of the New People’s Army (NPA) and revolutionary mass organizations to use the activities to mark the CPP anniversary to seek donations and contributions and channel these to the relief and rehabilitation efforts being carried out by the local revolutionary forces and other legitimate people’s organizations,” it said in a statement posted on its website on Friday, Dec. 23, 2011.

The party said its forces based in Mindanao have also started raising funds and collecting goods to help the victims of “Sendong.”

Cagayan de Oro and Iligan cities are both in Northern Mindanao, which plays host to villages that are still controlled by communist guerrillas. Only last October, the New People’s Army conducted simultaneous raids on mining sites in Surigao del Norte, destroying property and equipment worth P3 billion. It was the guerrillas’ most spectacular armed attacks in recent years.

The NPA’s north-central command has declared a 13-day ceasefire in the region in the wake of the disaster. The truce covers Cagayan de Oro, Iligan and the provinces of Misamis Oriental, Bukidnon and Lanao del Norte.

“While exerting efforts at relief and rehabilitation, the revolutionary forces should also help mobilize the victims of the calamity and the people in general to undertake mass struggles to make those responsible for the natural disaster and the ensuing massive loss of lives to answer to the people,” the CPP said in its statement. –

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