Palace hopes communist rebels would honor ceasefire deal

By , on December 23, 2017

FILE: Harry Roque (PCOO PHOTO)
FILE: Harry Roque (PCOO PHOTO)

MANILA — Malacañang on Friday welcomed the New People’s Army’s (NPA) declaration of a unilateral ceasefire with the government this Yuletide season.

In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the government expects the communist rebels to comply with its own ceasefire declaration.

“We expect that the CPP-NPA would honor their word and comply with the unilateral ceasefire, so that our people could truly experience a peaceful Christmas celebration,” Roque said.

NPA spokesperson Jorge Madlos said the ceasefire was declared on orders of the Communist Party of the Philippines’ (CPP) central committee and its armed wing’s operational command.

Meanwhile, Roque assured that government troops will not let their guard down despite the holiday truce in place.

“Rest assured that the government will remain vigilant in ensuring the safety of our countrymen. May we all stand together in fulfilling our shared desire of achieving lasting peace throughout the nation,” said Roque.

Madlos said that the communist rebels’ unilateral declaration of a ceasefire would be in effect from 6 p.m. on Dec. 23 to 6 p.m. on Dec. 26; and 6 p.m. on Dec. 30 to 6 p.m. on Jan. 2, 2018.

The Palace spokesperson, meanwhile, said President Rodrigo Duterte decided that the government’s ceasefire would be from Dec. 23, until Dec. 26, 11:59 p.m. and from Dec. 30, 6 p.m. to January 2, 2018, 11:59 p.m.