NPA extends ceasefire in areas devastated by ‘Yolanda’ for 1 month
DAVAO CITY, Philippines – The Communist Party of the Philippines said on Sunday it has extended by one-month its earlier declaration of ceasefire in areas devastated by typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan).
But the CPP said it was rejecting a government proposal for a nationwide ceasefire because it believed more in a localized ceasefire with a definite period of effectivity.
“A ceasefire of longer duration and nationwide scope can be carried out only on the basis of fundamental socio-economic and political reforms. Otherwise, such a ceasefire will be of no benefit to the people and will only be taken advantage of by the most reactionary and fascist elements to push for the pacification and surrender of the people’s revolutionary forces,” the CPP said in a statement posted on its website on Saturday.
It said that if government was serious about a nationwide truce, “it should immediately end its unilateral suspension of the peace negotiations” and resume talks with the National Democratic Front.
The CPP said it already ordered various commands of the New People’s Army (NPA) in Eastern Visayas, Panay, Central Visayas and Negros to stand back and cease any military action against legitimate targets up to midnight of December 24.
The original ceasefire declaration should have ended 12 midnight Sunday.
“The ceasefire declaration is being extended by another month in view of the extent and gravity of the devastation of the Supertyphoon that has been made worse by the gross negligence and inutility of the ruling Aquino regime,” the CPP said.
The communist organization, which has been fighting for the establishment of a Maoist government in the country for more than 40 decades now, said the ceasefire extension would allow “all committees of the people’s democratic government, respective commands of the NPA and units of the people’s militias in the devastated areas to continue with rehabilitation efforts.”
“Revolutionary forces in the area are currently busy in facilitating the distribution of relief supply from various people’s organizations and media outfits. They are (also) engaged in the reconstruction of homes,” it added.
But the CPP hinted that even while they have joined rehabilitation efforts, communist rebels continue to engage in the “mobilization of people in efforts to resume production and wage mass struggles.”
“Disaster victims are being organized in order to assert their demand for reforms to address their urgent needs. The demand of the peasant masses for land reform and of the fisherfolk for fisheries reform (has) become particularly urgent in the devastated areas,” it said.
The CPP also said that during the ceasefire, NPA fighters and those in the so-called people’s militia would be “in active defense mode.”
“They should maintain a heightened sense of alertness against the hostile acts and encroachments of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in areas within the scope of authority of the people’s democratic government,” it said.
“While maintaining a high degree of alertness against the offensive operations of the AFP, the NPA and the organized peasant masses must heighten efforts to wage revolutionary mass struggles to advance the democratic cause of the people in the face of the disaster and grave economic hardships,” it added.
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