Reds’ ceasefire to remain even without gov’t truce – Joma
By: Delfin T. Mallari Jr. – @inquirerdotnet
Inquirer Southern Luzon / 12:03 PM December 19, 2018
LUCENA CITY – Despite the violent reaction of President Rodrigo Duterte to the renewed attacks by New People’s Army (NPA) rebels and the non-declaration of ceasefire by the government, the five-day Christmas truce by the Maoist-inspired insurgents would remain, according to exiled Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Maria “Joma” Sison.
“I think the NPA can manage to make the ceasefire,” Sison said in an online interview from his base in Utrecht, the Netherlands on Wednesday.
He maintained that the CPP order for the NPA, its armed wing, to observe a five-day unilateral ceasefire, “was declared not to please or invite Duterte and the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) to reciprocate.”
“It was to demonstrate the capabilities of the NPA and the spirit of unity and solidarity between the revolutionary forces and the people during Christmas and New Year’s Day,” he explained.
However, Sison stressed that if the CPP would revoke or make amendments to its ceasefire order, it would be immediately announced by the communist leadership in the country.
“If there is any further announcement from the CPP about the 5-day ceasefire, it will come soon enough from the Philippines,” he said.
According to him, even with the continuous attacks by the government forces during the Yuletide season that also aim to disrupt the CPP celebration of its 50th founding anniversary on Dec. 26, the state security forces would fail in its missions.
“The AFP and PNP (Philippine National Police) are incapable of occupying or attacking all the more than 40,000 barangays and mountains at any given time,” Sison said.
Communist rebels scattered across the country celebrate the CPP anniversary in their mountain camps and remote villages under their control and influence.
Malacañang was standing pat on its decision not to declare a holiday truce with the communist insurgents.
Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said President Duterte had not changed his mind about the defense department’s recommendation not to reciprocate the CPP-NPA truce declaration.