CPP announces truce for the holidays, 50th anniversary

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 7) — The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) declared a unilateral ceasefire in observance of the holiday season and its 50th anniversary.

The truce will take effect 12:01 a.m. of December 24 to 11:59 p.m. of December 26. Another ceasefire is at 12:01 a.m. of December 31 to 11:59 p.m. of January 1, 2019.

"During the days covered by this temporary ceasefire declaration, all units of the NPA (new People's Army) and people's militias shall cease and desist from carrying out offensive military campaigns and operations against uniformed armed personnel of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP) of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP)," a statement from the CPP Central Committee read.

However, the communist group said the unilateral ceasefire can be cut short or called off if the military steps up attacks against activists and communities.

For its anniversary on December 26, the CPP called on all "revolutionary forces" to heighten resistance against the Duterte administration and hold meetings, assemblies, and mass rallies.

"We must all struggle arduously to frustrate Duterte's scheme of extending martial law in Mindanao, exercising de facto nationwide martial law powers, giving the military full control of various government agencies and programs and employing the military and police to manipulate the results of the 2019 elections to ensure local government control by pro-Duterte and pro-AFP officials and put congress under his majority control in order to push charter change for his federalism project next year so he can impose his dictatorship with the support of allied regional warlords and political dynasties," the statement read.

The CPP-NPA had said it plans to topple the Duterte government on its 50th year.

Communist and government forces both declared ceasefires during the holidays last year, but the military accused the NPA of breaking the truce.

A truce? What for?

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana repeated he is not inclined to recommend a holiday ceasefire.

"What for? Para makaluwag sila to regroup and refurbish para after laban na naman? Para maka pagdiwang sila ng bongga sa kanilang 50 years na pagpapahirap sa bayan? We are fooling ourselves about this cease fire. A ceasefire is always in their favor never our troops," Lorenzana said in a message.

[Translation: What for? So they can have leeway to regroup and refurbish? So they can celebrate after 50 years of being a burden to the strate? We are fooling ourselves about this cease fire. A ceasefire is always in their favor never our troops.]

President Rodrigo Duterte has issued Memorandum Order 32 which orders the deployment of more troops to the Bicol Region, Samar and Negros provinces to quell "sporadic acts of violence."