PANAY Island – The Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the National Operational Command of the New People’s Army (NPOC-NPA) declared to all commands and units of the NPA and people’s militias an interim ceasefire effective August 28, according to the CPP-NPOC-NPA document sent to media outlets Saturday evening.
“The ceasefire declaration is in line with the recommendation of the Negotiating Panel of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and in pursuit of the August 26 Joint Statement of the NDFP and Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) on the resumption of formal peace negotiations.”
The unilateral declaration of interim ceasefire shall take effect from August 28 and will remain valid during the course of peace negotiations until superseded by a ceasefire agreement to be issued jointly by the NDFP with the GRP within the next 60 days or until a notice of termination of this ceasefire declaration takes effect 10 days after receipt of said notice by the GRP Negotiating Panel from the NDFP Negotiating Panel.
The CPP and NPOC-NPA added that the unilateral ceasefire will further promote peace negotiations between the NDFP and the GRP and boost efforts to accelerate it. This will also reciprocate the indefinite ceasefire issued by GRP President Rodrigo Roa Duterte last August 21.
“During the interim ceasefire period, all NPA units and people’s militia shall cease and desist from carrying out offensive military campaigns and operations against the uniformed armed personnel of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) of the GRP.”
While ceasing offensive military operations, the NPA said it will continue to enforce policies and laws of the people’s democratic government, perform appropriate functions of governance, and mobilize the people and resources in territories under its authority, including:
1. maintaining peace and order including suppression of criminal groups such as drug traffickers and operators of the drug trade and large-scale gambling, private armies and private armed groups of warlords, local tyrants and vigilante groups, as well as spies.
2. enforcing local economic policies pertaining to land rent, usurious loans, wages and others.
3. enforcing policies for the protection of the environment and defense of the interests of national minorities, peasants and workers affected by large-scale mining, logging and plantation operations.
As a cultural, political and service organization, the NPA will continue to dispatch its forces to carry out educational campaigns especially on progress of peace negotiations, cultural activities, medical missions and production support campaigns.
Active-defense actions shall be undertaken only in the face of clear and imminent danger and actual armed attack by the enemy forces and only after exhausting counter-maneuvers to avoid armed encounters.
The CPP and NPA are encouraged by the positive outcome of the 1st round of formal talks on peace negotiations and the issuance of ceasefire is further encouraged by the prospective release of all political prisoners and remaining detained consultants of the NDFP through the issuance of an amnesty proclamation by GRP President Duterte.
The CPP-NPOC-NPA also ordered all leading organs and branches of the CPP, commands and units of the NPA and people’s militias and revolutionary mass organizations to monitor any hostile actions, provocations or movements carried out by the enemy armed forces that undermine the spirit of the ceasefire declarations and should be promptly reported to the concerned commands of the NPA and leadership of the CPP./PT
[See full text of declaration here.]