Reds extend ceasefire until April 30, fighters ordered “on defensive, stop fighting mode”

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LEGAZPI CITY, 16April2020 — Despite a shaky ceasefire with both sides accusing each other of mounting combat operations amid the coronavirus pandemic, the underground Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) ordered yesterday its armed wing, New People’s Army (NPA) to extend the nationwide ceasefire for 15 more days to “prioritize the fight against the pandemic and ensure the safety, health and well-being of everyone.”

In its order posted Thursday, April 16, at the CPP’s website, the CPP Central Committee extended to 11:59 p.m. of April 30 its earlier ceasefire declaration which started on March 25.

The CPP ordered the units of the NPA and the people’s militias “to continue to desist and cease from carrying out offensive military actions against the armed units and personnel of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Philippine National Police (PNP) and other paramilitary and armed groups attached to the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP).”

The aim of the ceasefire extension, according to the Party CC, “is to ensure quick and unimpeded support to all people requiring urgent medical, health and socioeconomic assistance in the face of the public emergency over the Covid-19 pandemic.”

The Party said all revolutionary forces are “ever ready to cooperate with all other forces and elements to achieve this objective.”

It also reiterated the call for the “urgent release” of all political prisoners and for declaring a general amnesty. It also expressed desire for the resumption of the NDFP-GRP peace negotiations.

It commended all units of the people’s army and people’s militias for their discipline in observing the ceasefire order and shifting priority to the anti-Covid-19 campaign.

It said that the Party’s ceasefire order has been observed “despite the difficulties and dangers brought about by the continuing occupation of AFP combat troops of guerrilla zones and base areas, the widespread and intense intelligence and psywar operations, and the attacks mounted by the AFP’s strike forces against detected NPA units.”

The CPP reminded all NPA units to “maintain strictest secrecy” and not allow themselves to be exposed to AFP attacks.

The recent armed encounters which the AFP misreport as NPA ceasefire violations are results of the offensive actions of the AFP.

During the ceasefire period, all NPA units must strictly limit themselves to active defense operations which shall be carried out only in the face of imminent danger and actual armed attacks by the enemy forces.

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