DAVAO CITY, Philippines — A Mindanao-based peace group Sowing the Seeds of Peace (SSP) appealed to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to reciprocate the holiday truce declared earlier by the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) as the nation celebrates “most cherished Filipino tradition.”

“We call on both sides to work hard towards maintaining a ceasefire—a joint and reciprocal ceasefire should be best—even for the holidays. This is in consideration of our cherished traditions as Filipinos,” saidIglesia Filipina Independiente Bishop Felixberto Calang, SSP main convenor in a statement on Tuesday.

With the season of Advent, Calang has expressed hope that 2019 would usher a year for the resumption of the stalled peace talks between the government and the communist movement.

“Our people yearn for a meaningful resolution of the roots of unpeace in our land,” Calang said, as he appealed to AFP to reconsider its decision and recommend a unilateral holiday truce with the communist rebels to the chief executive.

Calang said the holiday truce from both parties demonstrate what he called as a gesture of “humanity.”

“The AFP itself is made up of a majority of Christians, reflective of our national demographics. It is to the interest of the soldiers to be with their families and enjoy a brief respite from the ravages of civil war,” he said.

The holiday truce for CPP-NPA, according to Calang, would allow them to reunite with their families and, celebrate their 50th year as a movement.

Meanwhile, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the holiday truce with the communist will be taken up in a Cabinet meeting with Duterte.

“The position is we will discuss it. There will be a discussion necessarily for any recommendation by any member of the Cabinet,” he said in a Malacanang briefing on Tuesday.

On Sunday, CPP founder Jose Ma. Sison said the communist party and its armed-component, the New People’s Army (NPA) will be observing a truce as part of their preparation for the CPP’s 50thanniversary come December 26. (davaotoday.com)

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