Govt, NDFP recommend holiday ceasefire amid looming peace talks

Credit to Author: Dempsey Reyes| Date: Sun, 22 Dec 2019 02:21:33 +0000

THE government and National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) peace panels have agreed to recommend a nationwide ceasefire from Dec. 23, 2019 to Jan. 7, 2020, according to a joint statement signed by their representatives.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello 3rd and Hernani Braganza of the Philippine government peace panel and Luis Jalandoni and Fidel Agcaoili of the NDFP panel will relay the recommendation to their respective heads for the issuance of “corresponding ceasefire orders.”

The NDFP is the political wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).

The approval of the ceasefire, which will start from 12 a.m. of December 23 until 11:59 p.m. of January 7, was witnessed by Kristina Lie Revheim of the Royal Norwegian Government.

“During the ceasefire period, the respective armed units and personnel of the Parties shall cease and desist from carrying out offensive military operations against the other,” it said.

The declaration of a ceasefire will secure a “positive environment” for the holding of informal talks preparatory to the formal meeting for the resumption of the peace negotiations.

“These shall be measures of goodwill and confidence building during the traditional celebrations of Christmas and New Year holidays,” the joint statement also said.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana had rejected the idea of declaring a ceasefire during the holiday season, describing it as “disadvantageous” on the part of the government.

The recommendation for a declaration of a ceasefire came following the order of President Rodrigo Duterte to Bello to prepare for the revival of the peace talks which he had terminated in 2017.