Reports reaching Manila indicated that the Regional Command of the New People’s Army in North Eastern Mindanao Region (ROC-NPA-NEMR) declared at the weekend a unilateral cease fire in Surigao del Norte and the municipalities of Cabadbaran, Tubay, Jabonga and Santiago in Agusan del Norte.
The NPA Front said it hoped the military would respond in reciprocal manner, and the Armed Forces of the Philippines spokesman said that, indeed, it welcomed the cease-fire declaration.
The declaration of temporary cease fire is related to the aftermath of the earthquake that struck Surigao del Norte late Friday evening last week, and covers areas under NPA Front 16. It started last February 11, 2017 and will end at 11:55 in the evening of February 20, 2017.
“This cease-fire is being declared to give the Red fighters of the NPA in Front 16, all government agencies, including the police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), and non-government organizations, the opportunity to inspect the areas affected, especially the mountain areas, for damage resulting from the earthquake.
“Above all, this declaration of cease fire is to enable the delivery of immediate aid to the masses and for them to be given assistance towards the rehabilitation of their damaged properties and livelihood.
“On our part, the NPA in Front 16 has been on active defense posture since 6 o’clock in the morning of February 11, 2017 to assess and help the masses in the far-flung areas affected by the earthquake.
“We hope that this cease fire declaration will be reciprocated by the Philippine Army 30th IB and other concerned AFP troops and the Philippine National Police in Surigao del Norte,” according to Ka Ariel Montero, Spokesperson of the Regional Operational Command,New People’s Army North Eastern Mindanao Region.
On the other hand, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Monday welcomed the NPA”s declaration of cease fire, but condemn the group’s stealing of three trucks of government aid from Davao City going to Surigao Del Sur.
AFP Chief Information Officer, Colonel Edgard Arevalo said in a press briefing on Monday that the NPA ransacked three Isuzu Elf trucks from DSWD Davao City and looted all cargoes.
“The NPA declared ceasefire so that they can give way to their stealing operation without any problem”, the Col. Said.
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