MANILA, Dec 23 (Mabuhay) – The Armed Forces of the Philippines will be on alert right after Christmas as the Communist Party of the Philippines (AFP) commemorates its 46th anniversary.
However, it “will not launch any kind of offensive operation” against the insurgents, said AFP spokesman Col. Restituto Padilla on Tuesday.
The AFP, as well as the Philippine National Police (PNP), has suspended its operations against the CPP and its armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA), in celebration of the Christmas season.
The ceasefire will be from December 19, 2014 to January 19, 2015.
The Central Committee of the CPP, meanwhile, has declared ceasefire to all commands and units of the NPA and people’s militia during the holidays and the papal visit in January.
Still, Padilla appealed to the rebels to “reconsider renouncing their armed struggle, and join the mainstream to participate in the political system without the arms.”
On December 26, the CPP will celebrate its 46th anniversary. The CPP-NPA is still waging a protracted war in the Philippines, which is considered as the longest running insurgency in Asia.
The military estimate the CPP-NPA membership at about 4,000.
“They have very much reduced in numbers and I think there is a clear realization among the population that we need peace,” Padilla said.
“We need to secure our countryside and renounce violence because it impede progress,” he added. (MNS)