Despite the announcement of the Communist Party of the Philippines that it will observe a suspension of military offensives during the yuletide season celebration, the Philippine Army is not lowering its vigilance, especially on December 26, which is the 46 th founding anniversary of the CPP.
Maj. Gen. Rey Leonardo Guerrero, 3 rd Infantry Division commander, challenged the NPA local leadership to prove their sincerity in the declaration of the ceasefire, saying that they have faithfully complied with it ever since.
The CPP will observe ceasefire on Dec. 24 to 26, Dec. 31 to Jan. 1 and Jan. 15 to 19.
Guerrero, however, said that, even without SOMO, they continue to remain vigilant through the conduct of pro-active defensive patrol in communities, as their assistance to law enforcement.
He said SOMO only covers offensive military operations, which they are observing.
But it does not mean that they will not continue with other functions related to their mandate, particularly in support to humanitarian assistance, since there are still victims of typhoon Ruby, assistance to law enforcement and of securing vital installations, he said.
The AFP and the Philippine National Police have unilaterally declared a suspension of offensive military and police operations (SOMO) against the NPA from December 18, 2014 to January 19, 2015, covering the yuletide season and the visit of Pope Francis.
AFP chief of staff Gen. Gregorio Catapang Jr. said that while he wished their dates matched, they would just have to exercise greater vigilance in the period that only the AFP is on ceasefire.*GPB
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