The Communist guerrilla of the Philippines declares the traditional Christmas truce

The communist guerrillas of the Philippines today declared their traditional truce during the Christmas holidays, six months after the collapse of the last peace negotiations between the government and this half-century-old insurgency.

The Philippine Communist Party, illegal formation in the country, declared unilaterally the cessation of hostilities of its armed wing, the New People's Army (NPA), between December 24 and 26, and between December 31 and January 1

"During the days covered by this temporary ceasefire declaration, all units of the NPA and the militias will cease and desist from carrying out military campaigns and operations against uniformed personnel" of the Army or Police, the organization said in a statement.

The Communist Party called on its militants to remain on alert and defensive, and warned that the truce can be canceled if there are attacks by government troops or "extend a few days if positive conditions appear."

Before, the Secretary of Defense, Delfin Lorenzana, had been reluctant to recommend a truce by the government while the spokesman for the armed forces, Edgard Arevalo, accused the Communists of lack of sincerity for continuing their actions .

The Philippine Government and the communist guerrillas, which usually declare a ceasefire every year during Christmas, began a peace process in August 2016 after President Rodrigo Duterte came to power.

The two sides signed a ceasefire that lasted until February 2017, when the insurgents broke it unilaterally due to disagreements in the negotiations that took place in Oslo, and to which the Communists resigned definitively in June of this year.

Founded in 1969, the NEP, which is listed as a terrorist group on the US and European Union lists, is one of the oldest communist guerrillas in Asia and has some 6,000 regular fighters.

The Communist Party of the Philippines, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, explicitly supports its armed struggle in a conflict that has caused more than 40,000 deaths in the last five decades.


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