PNoy approves holiday truce with communist rebels

Dec. 21, 2015

DAVAO CITY – President Benigno S. Aquino III has approved the recommendation of the Department of National Defense for the unilateral declaration of the Suspension of Military Operations (SOMO) against the New People’s Army (NPA) for the Christmas and New Year holidays.

Communication Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. said the SOMO will start at 12:01 a.m. of December 23 and would end at 11:59 p.m. of January 3, 2016.

The defense department recommended on December 15 that President Aquino approved a SOMO against communist insurgents.

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) has already declared a 12-day holiday ceasefire in support of calls to resume the stalled peace talks with the government.

The National Democratic Front said the truce would take effect from December 23, 2015 to January 3, 2016.

The ceasefire order “was issued in solidarity with the Filipino people’s traditional celebrations of Christmas and New Year holidays”, the NDF said.

The ceasefire will also allow its forces to carry out mass assemblies and public demonstrations to mark the 47th anniversary of the CPP and celebrate revolutionary victories of the past year, it said, adding that the move is also in support of efforts of peace advocates to foster the resumption of the peace negotiations between the government and the NDF. (

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