Leftist group extends truce until Christmas eve in typhoon-hit areas

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Sunday, November 24, 2013

THE Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) has decided to extend its unilateral declaration of ceasefire in areas hit by Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) until Christmas eve.

The Central Committee of the CPP said in a statement the truce declaration, which practically commenced on November 8 and was originally set to expire on Sunday night, would remain in effect up to December 24.

"The ceasefire declaration is being extended by another month in view of the extent and gravity of the devastation of the supertyphoon that has been made worse by the gross negligence and inutility of the ruling Aquino regime," the Central Committee said.

With the declaration of the truce, the New People's Army's (NPA) regional commands in Eastern Visayas, Panay, Central Visayas and Negros Island would be on a defensive mode.

"This will allow all committees of the people’s democratic government, respective commands of the NPA and units of the people’s militias in the devastated areas to continue with rehabilitation efforts," the CPP said.

Revolutionary forces in the area are currently busy in facilitating the distribution of relief supply from various people’s organizations and media outfits, it added.

Meanwhile, the CPP, the umbrella organization of the NPA and the National Democratic Gront (NDF), rejected the proposal of the Aquino government for a nationwide and indefinite ceasefire.

"The CPP ceasefire declaration is localized and has a definite period of effectivity with the aim of addressing the urgent need of extending emergency services to the people and carrying out rehabilitation efforts," it said.

The CPP explained that a truce of longer duration and nationwide scope can be carried out only on the basis of fundamental socio-economic and political reforms.

"Otherwise, such a ceasefire will be of no benefit to the people and will only be taken advantage of by the most reactionary and fascist elements to push for the pacification and surrender of the people’s revolutionary forces," it said.

"If Malacañang is really serious in its proposal, then it should immediately end its unilateral suspension of peace negotiations and resume talks with the duly authorized panel of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines and forge agreements on the basis, parameters and mechanics of such a ceasefire," the CPP stressed.

The government has suspended the peace talks with the NDF, the political wing of the revolutionary movement, since April this year as it developed new approach in dealing with the communist rebels.

The Aquino administration has said that it did not want to return to the regular track or formal negotiation with the NDF because it has been going nowhere for the last 27 years. (SDR/Sunnex)

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