Communist insurgents mull unilateral declaration of Christmas ceasefire
LUCENA CITY — The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) is studying plans to observe the traditional Christmas truce despite the recent clashes between communist rebels and government forces.
Both the party’s founding chair, Jose Maria Sison, and the former chief peace negotiator of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), Luis Jalandoni, said the insurgents might declare the ceasefire unilaterally.
“The CPP may decide to issue the ceasefire order to the [New People’s Army (NPA), the movement’s armed wing] to show [its] magnanimity and generosity because, after all, Duterte’s troops and the police are already overstretched, tired and ineffective … the NPA can, at will, give them rest and time to visit their families,” Sison said from The Hague in the Netherlands where he is based.
Jalandoni said the NDFP’s “prime concern” was “the good, welfare and cultural concerns of the people.”
But Sison said the decision to declare a Christmas ceasefire would depend on the wishes of the CPP leadership.
Earlier, President Rodrigo Duterte canceled the peace talks with the NDFP following recent NPA attacks on government troops and police. Mr. Duterte had also threatened to declare the NPA as a terrorist group. —Delfin T. Mallari Jr.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.