On the question of a holiday ceasefire declaration

Through the years, it had been the tradition of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) to declare a unilateral ceasefire during the yuletide season for a reasonable specified duration in due respect for the Filipino people’s peaceful observance of Christmas and New Year holidays, and for the people and their revolutionary forces to celebrate the Party’s anniversary on December 26. The CPP Central Committee usually made previous ceasefire declarations during the holiday season independent of any corresponding declaration by the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP).

GRP President Rodrigo Duterte had already publicly stated that he will not declare a holiday ceasefire. In the same breath, he said that the reason for this is because the New People’s Army (NPA) had always “violated” past ceasefire declarations. This is not surprising coming from the bully Duterte. He is desperately running out of time to fulfill his pipe dream of “wiping out” the revolutionary movement by the end of the year, lest he will be bound to face bigger odds to achieve this vicious goal next year. In less than two years Duterte will be in precarious survival mode, facing the possibility of either being ousted or his ruling clique losing the 2022 election contest if he fails to extend his power through electoral fraud, rigged-up constitutional amendments or a formal declaration of martial law.

Whatever the outcome of Duterte’s scheme to cling to power, he will never understand that the Philippine revolution cannot ever be extinguished for as long as imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism, the root causes of the armed conflict, are not resolved. Duterte’s rabid reactionary regime, like all previous US puppet regimes, will always refuse to accept that the NPA is a persevering and resilient force that is deeply rooted in the masses and ever committed to serve the people, and thus, can never be easily defeated.

Duterte’s accusation against supposed NPA insincerity in the duration of previous ceasefires is but a thin veil to hide his real motive – that of further intensifying brutal focused military operations (FMOs) and relentless military campaigns in the countryside coupled with a violent crackdown against all open and legitimate opposition groups and personalities. In fact, it had been the Duterte regime and its armed forces that had repeatedly violated their own unilateral ceasefire declarations in the past.

Since Duterte assumed the presidency, previous unilateral ceasefires had been marred by violations mainly caused by military offensive operations and offensive forward deployment of the regime’s troops inside NPA guerrilla bases and zones in the guise of medical missions, relief and other such smokescreens designed to gather intelligence information and conduct combat operations. On the other hand, NPA guerrillas had been forced to engage these offensive state armed forces in combat as a matter of self-defense and in defense of the interest of the people in the countryside.

Duterte and his armchair generals have shown no humane consideration for the desire of his exhausted and battle-fatigued troops who need respite to be with their loved ones to celebrate the holidays in peace, especially during these Covid crisis-ridden times. Further, instead of using a temporary break to prioritize addressing the ongoing Covid-19 crisis, he would rather continue his war-mongering and attacks against the Filipino people.

Despite all these, all Red fighters and officers of the NPA, including militia units, shall abide should the Communist Party of the Philippines through its Central Committee, Politburo or Executive Committee, declare a yuletide unilateral ceasefire for humanitarian, political or any other reason. The NPA will strictly adhere and implement in the spirit and letter of such a declaration. ###

On the question of a holiday ceasefire declaration