DAVAO CITY, February 1, 2017 — The New People’s Army (NPA) has terminated the unilateral ceasefire it declared in August last year, ten days before its supposed end on February 10, 2017 at 11:59 p.m.
“The August 28, 2016 unilateral declaration of interim ceasefire issued by the Central Committee of the CPP (CPP-CC) and the National Operations Command of the New People’s Army (NPA-NOC) is hereby terminated,” NPA spokesperson Ka Oris said in a statement.
“From today (February 1, 2017) until the expiration of the ceasefire declaration, all commands and units of the NPA, including the people’s militia and self-defense corps, are tasked to take initiative and more vigorously carry out active defense in order to defend the people and revolutionary forces,” Oris added.
The NPA pointed to the government’s failure to release all political prisoners under the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) and the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) as one of the reasons for the termination of the interim ceasefire.
It also accused the government of “treacherously” taking advantage of the unilateral ceasefire to intrude into NPA territories.
“Across 164 municipalities and 43 provinces, the GRP’s armed forces have occupied at least 500 barrios which are within the authority of the revolutionary government,” Oris said.
Despite the cancellation of the unilateral ceasefire, the NPA still vowed to support the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations.
“In our experience and in the experience of other peoples, it is possible to negotiate while fighting until the substantive agreements are forged to address the roots of the armed conflict and lay the basis for a just and lasting peace,” Oris said.
The termination comes a day after Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza said the government was “disturbed and extremely disturbed” by a recent series of “attacks and harassments” staged allegedly by NPA members on government troops in various areas in the country.