The Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army has declared a temporary ceasefire during the holiday season. However, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año has decried the declaration as ‘meaningless’ and called it a move meant simply for propaganda purposes.
“Ito po ay isang malaking kalokohan. Huwag na nilang gamiting dahilan ang Kapaskuhan sa pagkukunwari nila na magtitigil-putukan sila sa panahong iyon gayong alam naman nating magpapalakas lang sila ng puwersa (This is a big fraud. They should not use Christmas season for the supposed ceasefire because we very well know that they use this opportunity to muster their forces,” said Año in a news release on Monday, December 10.
The defense department, through the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), has said that they would not recommend a holiday truce with the armed insurgency group. The CPP-NPA-NDF would likely exploit the truce in order to consolidate its forces in anticipation of its coming 50th anniversary. The DILG Secretary, who also previously served as chief of staff of the AFP, agreed with the AFP’s statements and recommended not honoring the ceasefire.
“Taun-taon na lang ay nagdedeklara sila ng tigil-putukan at pinagbibigyan sila ng pamahalaan alang-alang sa diwa ng Kapaskuhan. Sa puntong ito, huwag na nating sakyan ang mga palabas ng grupong ito (Every year they declare a ceasefire and the government agreed in the spirit of Christmas. At this point, let us not be swayed by these groups),” said Año.
The CPP central committee announced on Friday their plans for a temporary ceasefire to take effect 12:01 a.m. of December 24 to 11:59 p.m. of December 26, and at 12:01 a.m. of December 31 to 11:59 of Jan. 1, 2019, totaling 5 days of holding off on the armed conflict.