MANILA (Mabuhay) – Communist rebels will declare a ceasefire during the holidays to allow their comrades to mark the 45th anniversary of the Communist Party of the Philippines on Dec. 26.
In a statement posted on its website late Tuesday, the CPP said: “The leadership… is set to declare a ceasefire in order to pave the way for the national celebrations of the [Party’s] 45th anniversary as well as to give way to the Filipino people’s traditional observance of the Christmas and New Year holidays.”
But the CPP did not immediately specify the dates of the ceasefire.
It also called on the government to order the Armed Forces of the Philippines to stand down on December 26 and the days leading to it, “in order to allow… thousands of people to peacefully travel to and join the celebrations.”
For this year’s celebration, the CPP said it expects “several hundred” people’s assemblies inside the guerrilla zones across the country.
It said most participants are likely to travel by foot to the people’s assemblies.
“Travel arrangements are also being made for the revolutionary forces and guests coming in from the cities or other towns,” it added.
Also, the CPP said the celebrations will be modest.
On the other hand, the CPP said the mass activities will also collect funds and materials that will be contributed to the rehabilitation efforts in areas devastated by Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan).
“The assemblies shall, however, be appropriately joyous to celebrate the great victories of the people’s war and the people’s democratic revolution. The assemblies will provide the venue to celebrate the victories in advancing the revolutionary armed struggle, in carrying forward the revolutionary program for land reform and building the people’s democratic government,” it added.
Last Dec. 16, Malacañang said the government is likely to declare a unilateral Christmas ceasefire with communist New People’s Army rebels this year.
Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda expressed hopes the CPP, NPA and National Democratic Front would reciprocate the gesture.
“We hope the NPA-CPP-NDF would reciprocate, but as far as this government is concerned, we have traditionally declared a unilateral ceasefire every year,” he said.
He added the Palace will announce the dates of the ceasefire once the matter is finalized. (MNS)