There will be no yuletide truce with the New People’s Army in Negros island, a ranking military official said yesterday.
“It’s business as usual for us,” Col. Benedict Arevalo, who is the Army’s 303rd Infantry Brigade commander, stressed.
The Communist Party of the Philippines issued a statement on Dec. 3 declaring a four-day ceasefire against government forces, in observance of the yuletide season.
The unilateral declaration of temporary ceasefire takes effect midnight of Dec. 24 to 11:59 p.m. of Dec. 26, and midnight of Dec. 31 to 11:59 p.m. January 1 next year.
Arevalo said that ceasefire days declared by the CPP-NPA are not really critical dates for them, as he noted that the communist rebels perform their atrocities before and after those dates.
The CPP is marking its 50th founding anniversary on Dec. 26.
Arevalo stressed the importance of pre-empting the CPP-NPA atrocities, and reminded government troops, including the police, to be always on alert, and be aggressive in running after the communist terrorist group.
He enjoined Army personnel that when on break, they should enjoy their time with their families, and for those on duty to focus on the mission of neutralizing the NPA rebels.
With this temporary unilateral ceasefire declaration, the CPP statement said that AFP soldiers and PNP personnel can also take a brief leave from their incessant but mostly fruitless military offensives, to visit their families during the holidays.
Those who wish to visit their families and friends in areas within the guerrilla territories of the NPA can do so freely, so long as they have not committed any crime, and there are no outstanding warrants for their arrest, it added.
But the CPP reminded all NPA units and commands to stay on alert for active defense mode during this temporary ceasefire period.*
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