MANILA, Philippines – The Armed Forces of the Philippines on Saturday declared an 18-day Suspension of Military Operations (Somo) against communist insurgents, the military’s public information office said.
The Somo will be from midnight of Dec. 16 until 1 a.m. of Jan 3, 2013.
“The objective of this unilateral implementation of Yuletide Somo to the NPA [New People’s Army] is to demonstrate the AFP’s commitment, sincerity and resolve for peace in spite of conflicts with insurgent group. The Somo will also give opportunity to soldiers and villagers in conflict areas to celebrate the holidays peacefully,” AFP spokesperson Colonel Arnulfo Burgos said.
The military will continue, however, with its activities supporting the peace, development, and humanitarian activities of the government and civil authorities.
AFP chief of staff General Jessie Dellosa also praised and gave recognition to the “collective and selfless efforts of its soldiers that were instrumental in maintaining peace and security in our communities,” especially with their work in conducting search, rescue and retrieval operations in Mindanao, which was hit hard by Typhoon “Pablo.”