Gov’t troops to unilaterally honor ceasefire with leftist rebels: official


MANILA, Jan. 2 — The Philippine government troops will continue to honor the ceasefire with the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP- NPA-NDF) despite the latter’s decision to terminate earlier the joint truce, a senior government official said Wednesday.

Alexander Padilla, Government of the Philippines (GPH) chief negotiator, said that the Aquino administration stands firm to the nationwide truce agreed upon with the NDF, the political wing of the CPP-NPA, which commenced on Dec. 20, 2012 and will remain effective until Jan. 15 this year.

“Our security forces will maintain its unilateral declaration of SOMO (suspension of offensive military operation) and SOPO ( suspension of offensive police operation), despite the CPP’s termination, and will stand ready to defend and protect our people, ” the panel said.

The CPP declared an end to the ceasefire on Jan. 2 and cited as an excuse the “failure of the GPH to comply with the agreement last Dec. 17-18 to extend its own ceasefire order to Jan. 15.”

The GPH panel, however, said that it was a false claim. “Since the time that government made the ceasefire declaration, there have been no recorded violations by the military and police, which is a clear manifestation of our commitment to honor the ceasefire agreement,” it said.