Government welcomes NPA ceasefire declaration PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 21 December 2014 14:57

The Philippine government on Saturday welcomed the ceasefire declared by the communist New People’s Army (NPA) for the holidays and the Papal visit in January, hoping that the gesture would lead to a long-term solution to the country’s insurgency problem.

“The ceasefire will help ensure tranquility for the people and keep them safe from instability and risk, “  said Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. in a statement.

“Hoping it will serve as a bridge to firm and strong foundation in resolving issues hampering understanding of the conflicting forces in Philippine society , “ he added.

The Communist Party of the Philippines on Wednesday declared a ceasefire during the holidays and the upcoming visit of Pope Francis.

The truce will cover the following dates: Dec. 24, 2014 to Dec. 26, 2014; Dec. 31, 2014 to Jan. 1, 2015; and Jan. 15, 2015 to Jan. 19, 2015.

The NPA has ordered its fighters to desist from carrying out offensive operations against the police and the military, as well as the government’s paramilitary groups.

It said the declaration was issued in solidarity with the Filipino people as they observe the traditional holidays, which coincide with the CPP anniversary celebration on December 26.

According to the rebels, the ceasefire was also issued in deference to the visit of Pope Francis.

Early this week, the military declared a month-long ceasefire against the communist rebels, also for the same reasons.

The unilateral ceasefire will start on the midnight of Dec. 18 and end on the midnight of Jan. 19.

The Philippine government has been battling communist insurgents for four decades. Government estimates put the rebels at 4,000, mostly in Mindanao.