PNP declares ceasefire on NPA until Jan. 1 but will defend vital installations
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police has also declared a ceasefire or a suspension of offensive operations against the New People’s Army during the Yuletide holidays.
The suspension of offensive police operations actually started on December 23 and will last until January 1, 2016, a memorandum issued by PNP Director General Ricardo Marquez shows.
The PNP ceasefire came days after the government implemented a suspension of military operations against the communist rebels in observance of Christmas.
All PNP units, however, will still maintain a high state of operational readiness to respond to any hostile actions, according to Chief Supt. Wilben Mayor, PNP spokesperson.
“The SOPO does not cover normal law enforcement operations including the service of warrants of arrest, enforcement and the apprehension of those who commit crimes,” the PNP official said in a press briefing on Thursday.
The PNP observes a yearly SOPO during Christmas, during which police troops refrain from initiating offensive police operations against the NPA.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines’ SOMO (suspension of offensive military operations) against the communist rebels took effect last December 23 and will last until January 3.
Mayor reiterated the appeal of their military counterparts to the NPA to observe the 12-day ceasefire that the communist movement declared last week.
The PNP spokesperson noted that despite an NPA-declared ceasefire from December 23 to January 3, the NPA still committed a series of attacks against government troops since it took effect.
Prior to the ceasefire, communist rebels twice ambushed relief convoys in Eastern Visayas out to aid victims of typhoon Nona. Two soldiers have been killed so far.
“We also appeal to them to abide by their own ceasefire. Please abide by the rules that you initiated. On the part of the PNP, we will also abide by our SOPO. Let us observe these guidelines in the spirit of Christmas,” Mayor said.
Marquez has also ordered precautionary and preemptive measures to prevent NPA attacks on vital installations and police stations.
The PNP will continue its security patrols to protect all PNP camps, stations, vital installations and civilian communities, route security, etc.
Earlier, policemen had their guns sealed with masking tape as part of the PNP’s efforts against the illegal discharge of policemen’s firearms during the holiday.
“All police units must exercise caution and restraint in the conduct of movements and activities which may be viewed as provocative acts against the NPA,” Marquez added. SFM
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