The New People’s Army Apolinario Gatmaitan Command will cease its tactical offensives against government forces in Negros starting today, its spokesman, Ka Juanito Magbanua, announced yesterday.
This is in compliance with the order of the Communist Party of the Philippines central committee, that ordered all commands and units of the NPA and its people’s militia to observe a nationwide ceasefire that will take effect starting 12:01 a.m. of today to 11:59 p.m. of April 15, Magbanua said.
But he stressed that they will remain vigilant and monitor any possible hostile action from the Armed Forces of the Philippines and National Police during the ceasefire period.
Capt. Cenon Pancito, 3rd Infantry Division spokesman, said they welcome the NPA declaration to stop their anti-people actions against those who are working hard to fight COVID-19.
President Rodrigo Duterte earlier ordered a unilateral ceasefire to allow the AFP and PNP to focus on helping government medical personnel in the fight against COVID-19.
Pancito said he hopes that the NPA will be true to their words, stressing that the Filipino people deserve a stand down on fighting.
While the 3ID is in full swing helping other frontliners in the fight against the spread of COVID 19, Pancito said “ We assure the public that we will not back down on keeping peace in the region.”, stressing that they are still ready to fight whenever necessary.
The CPP, in a statement it issued, said that the purpose of unilateral ceasefire is to ensure and facilitate necessary, unhampered and immediate medical, health and economic assistance, support and movement of the people brought about by the exigencies of the current COVID-19 worldwide pandemic that has affected a growing number of Filipinos and non-Filipinos alike.
It added that ceasefire is also a gesture towards national unity and based on humanitarian principles in the context of the serious public emergency to ensure the health, safety and welfare of all Filipinos.
The CPP also clarified that the ceasefire order is not dependent on the issuance of the Suspension of Military Operations and Suspension of Police Operations issued or to be issued by the Philippine government.*
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