Duterte declares ceasefire with Reds from Dec. 24 to Jan. 2
President Rodrigo Duterte has declared a ceasefire with the communist rebels from December 24, 2017 to January 2, 2018.
“The President announced last night a suspension of military operations (SOMO) from December 24, 2017 to January 2, 2018,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a statement.
“This unilateral ceasefire would lessen the apprehension of the public this Christmas season. We expect that the CPP-NPA-NDFP would do a similar gesture of goodwill,” Roque added.
Christmas, he said, “holds a special place in the hearts of our countrymen.”
“In the observance of this occasion, we hope that all Filipinos would stand together as one nation and aspire for peace in our beloved Philippines,” he said.
Duterte had earlier said the government would not declare a holiday ceasefire with the New People’s Army amid the collapse of the peace talks.
But in a media interview in Pasig City on Tuesday night, the President, who earlier classified the communist rebels as terrorists, said he wanted a stress-free Christmas for the Filipinos.
“Look, if I declare a ceasefire, it is not addressed to the NPAs. Rather, I would want to celebrate Christmas with the rest of humankind or Filipinos, na walang stress (without any stress),” he told reporters. /je