NDF finally receives copies of government ceasefire orders
LUCENA CITY – The communist-led National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDF) finally received on Thursday copies of the government written ceasefire orders to state-security forces for the effective implementation of the truce agreement.
“We hope that from here on the unilateral and reciprocal ceasefires declared by the two Parties shall proceed effectively,” Fidel Agcaoili, NDF peace panel chair, said in a press release issued early Friday from Utrecht in the Netherlands.
Agcaoili said the NDF received the copies of the Suspension of Offensive Military Operations (Somo) and Suspension of Offensive Police Operations (Sopo) from Labor Secretary and government peace negotiator Silvestre Bello III on December 26 at around 8:54 Dutch time (3:54 p.m. in the Philippines).
The Somo, issued by Armed Forces Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Noel Clement, was dated Dec. 24.
The Sopo, issued by Lt. Gen. Archie Francisco Gamboa, Philippine National Police Officer-in-Charge, was dated Dec. 22.
The PNP issued its stand-down-order to the police force in compliance with the memorandum issued by Interior Secretary Eduardo Año dated Dec. 23, according to Agcaoili’s press release.
The NDFP and Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Maria “Joma” Sison have been demanding copies of the government truce orders for the effective implementation of the reciprocal unilateral ceasefire for the Christmas season.
On Sunday, President Rodrigo Duterte approved the recommendation of the government peace panel and the NDFP for a nationwide ceasefire over the holidays.
For its part, the CPP issued its ceasefire order to its armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA) rebels, on Dec. 22, a day before the start of the nationwide temporary cessation of armed hostilities between government forces and Maoist-inspired guerillas.
The supposed truce began at 12:01 a.m. Dec. 23 and would end at 11:59 p.m. on Jan. 7.
Edited by MUF
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