Communist rebels yesterday declared a staggered ceasefire for the holidays and during the visit of Pope Francis next month.
The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) said the holiday truce would take effect from Dec. 24 to 26 and from Dec. 31 to Jan. 1.
CPP announced the truce two days after the military and the police declared the suspension of offensives against the rebels, which takes effect today and will end on Jan. 19.
In contrast, the communist rebels will continue their offensives between the periods of Dec. 26 up to Dec. 31, then Jan. 2 up to Jan. 14.
The CPP anniversary celebration falls on Dec. 26.
The rebels also declared a ceasefire from Jan. 15 to 19 in deference to the visit of Pope Francis.
Last year, the government truce started on Dec. 20 and ended on Jan. 15 while that of the CPP took effect from Dec. 24 to 26 and from Dec. 31 to Jan. 2.
The CPP, however, took notice of the upcoming visit of Pope Francis starting on Jan. 15.
“This ceasefire declaration is also being issued in deference to the upcoming visit of Roman Catholic patriarch Pope Francis which the Filipino people look forward to as an opportunity for religious celebration and to raise outstanding issues,” the CPP said.
Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Quintos-Deles welcomed the joint suspension of military and police operations with communist rebels, saying it would allow the rehabilitation of calamity-affected communities, many of which are also conflict-affected. The Philippine Star