President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday night declared a unilateral ceasefire against the New People’s Army (NPA) as the holiday season is only a few days away.
According to the Malacañang, there will be a suspension of military operations (SOMO) from December 24, 2017 to January 2, 2018.
The declaration was in line with the government’s appeal to lessen the apprehension of the public this coming Christmas season.
The Department of National Defense (DND) has also agreed to the President’s decision, but clarified that the SOMO only pertains to military combat operations.
According to Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, the government expects the side of the Communist Party of the Philippine-New People’s Army- National Democratic Front of the Philippines to cooperate and respect the ceasefire as millions of Filipino celebrate the spirit of the season.
Previously, Duterte said that he would not declare a ceasefire with the Reds given the failure of the peace talks and the ongoing attacks by rebel fighters.
On Sunday, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said that it will be strengthening its offensive campaigns against the NPA, which will be celebrating its 49th founding anniversary on December 26.