The Armed Forces of the Philippines and Philippine National Police both declared that they are suspending their military and police operations from December 19, 2014 up to January 19, 2015.
Presidential Spokesman Secretary Edwin Lacierda said that as part of tradition, the government always put to mind a peace and prosperous Christmas and New Year.
According to Lacierda, the ceasefire is important and meaningful in order to hasten the rehabilitation in areas that were devastated by the recent calamities, especially those areas that are being ruled by the NPA.
“This year, we affirm even more reasons for an extended Christmas ceasefire. Cessation of hostilities will allow unhampered rehabilitation of calamity-affected communities, many of which are also conflict-affected, and sustain the goodwill generated from the positive results of the collective disaster preparedness undertaken by government and communities,” stated Lacierda.
Also, the said one-month ceasefire would be a big help in the preparations for the impending visit of Pope Francis early next year.
“It will also set the tone for the much-anticipated Papal Visit in January. With the silencing of guns, our preparations for and celebration of Pope Francis’ visit may be carried out with undistracted prayers and deep hope for abundant blessings to be showered on our people.”
Meanwhile, the Palace prays for a merry and peaceful get-together as the nation celebrates Christmas.
“After the difficult trials of the past Christmas seasons, we pray for a peaceful, happy and hopeful season for everyone – a chance for all families and communities to come together in celebration and steadfast hope.”