DAVAO CITY — The Communist Party of the Philippines and the National Operational Command of the New People’s Army issued a unilateral declaration of a seven-day ceasefire that will take effect starting Sunday, August 21.
In a statement on Friday evening, August 19 the CPP said its Central Committee and the NPA declared the unilateral ceasefire “to celebrate and bolster the resumption of formal GRP-NDFP peace talks.”
The ceasefire will take effect starting 12:01 am of August 21 and will last until 11:59 pm of August 27.
The CPP said that it hopes the government will reciprocate the ceasefire declaration, but added that the ceasefire will take effect “even without GRP reciprocation.”
“With or without reciprocation by the GRP, the NPA must maintain a high-level of alertness against enemy troop movements,” said the CPP.
The formal talks between the government and the National Democratic Front, the political wing of the CPP, are set on August 22 to August 26 in Oslo, Norway.
It said that the government’s facilitation of the release of NDF consultants to join the peace talks encouraged the declaration of the ceasefire.
Nineteen NDF peace consultants are set to join the negotiations. The last consultant who was granted provisional liberty by the Court on Friday afternoon was Porferio Tuna, Jr., from Davao Region.
Political prisoners Benito Tiamzon and Wilma Austria Tiamzon were also granted provisional liberty on Friday morning.
The CPP said it appreciates the determined efforts of President Rodrigo Duterte to push forward and accelerate the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations “as a means of addressing the roots of the civil war in the Philippines.”
The CPP anticipates the upcoming Oslo peace talks to discuss Duterte’s recommendation to issue a general amnesty to pave the way for the release of all political prisoners “who are mostly worker and peasant activists slapped with criminal charges to cause their prolonged detention.”
It also said that it is open to discuss the possibility of a longer ceasefire after the release of all political prisoners. (davaotoday.com)