The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) today demanded that the Aquino regime immediately order an extension of his earlier ceasefire declaration to reciprocate the one issued by the CPP Central Committee a week ago, in accordance with an agreement forged in a meeting on December 17-18 in The Hague, The Netherlands between special representatives from the Aquino government and special representatives of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP).
The temporary ceasefire covering the period from December 20 to January 15 was agreed upon to create favorable conditions for the resumption of peace talks in January. It was contained in a joint communique dated December 18 and authenticated by Ambassador Ture Lundh, special envoy of the Royal Norwegian Government to the NDFP-GPH Peace Negotiations.
A ceasefire order for the said period was consequently issued by the CPP Central Committee on December 20. The National Democratic Front-Mindanao had by then already declared a ceasefire from December 5 to January 3 to units of the New People’s Army (NPA) in the island’s calamity-stricken areas to allow for unhampered relief and rehabilitation work and facilitate the NPA’s own efforts to assist the victims, especially the impoverished masses in the guerrilla zones. The CPP’s ceasefire order extends the ceasefire period of the revolutionary forces in Mindanao to January 15.
“More than a week has passed and Aquino, as principal of the GPH and commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, has yet to issue a reciprocal ceasefire order that would extend his earlier declaration covering the period from December 16 to January 2,” pointed out the CPP.
“Aquino’s failure to promptly issue his own unilateral ceasefire order in accordance with the agreement reached between the NDFP and his government’s special representatives raises serious questions about his government’s sincerity in pursuing peace negotiations. If he does not issue a corresponding ceasefire declaration soon, the CPP and the NDFP would have to consider the option of cutting short the duration of its unilateral ceasefire order.”
“Compounding the regime’s failure to reciprocate the CPP’s extended ceasefire declaration, the AFP continues to brazenly commit human rights violations in outright disregard of its own Yuletide ceasefire order,” pointed out the CPP. The CPP cited the arrest and torture on December 21 of five residents of Mulanay, Quezon by elements of the 74th IB. The victims are being falsely accused of being NPA members.
The CPP also cited the reported arrest last December 25 of Filemon Mendrez in Manjuyod, Negros Oriental. Mendrez is said to be among those listed in the DILG’s secret list containing the names of 235 alleged leaders of the revolutionary movement which serves as a virtual Order of Battle for the AFP and other state armed agents.
“Despite its own ceasefire declaration, the AFP continues to carry out counter-guerrilla operations under the guise of peace and order operations. AFP soldiers continue to set up checkpoints and maintain an armed presence in communities to conduct intelligence operations and intimidate the people, in pursuit of the AFP’s Oplan Bayanihan war of suppression.”