MANILA, Philippines — Communist rebels are expected to declare a unilateral ceasefire for the holiday season, independent media outfit Kodao Productions reported Friday, December 22.
Communist Party of the Philippines founding chairman Jose Ma. Sison said the ceasefire, recommended by the National Democratic Front, is meant “to honor the people in connection with the traditional holidays and the CPP’s 49th founding anniversary” on December 26.
Kodao reported Sison as saying that the draft of the ceasefire order, which is expected to run from December 24 to January 2, “is already being processed by the Central Committee of the CPP.”
Sison said he had recommended that the CPP ceasefire order include a warning to the NPA about the “lying, deceitful, attacking and occupying characteristics” of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine National Police and paramilitary forces.
The impending rebel ceasefire will cover the same period as that of the suspension of offensive military operations declared by President Rodrigo Duterte last Sunday.
But the Department of National Defense has issued its own unilateral ceasefire different from that of Duterte’s. This one has two stages, from 6 p.m. of December 23 to 6 p.m. of December 26, and from 6 p.m. of December 30 to 6 p.m. of January 2.
News reports quoted Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana as saying he had been “adamant” against a government ceasefire.