Monday, November 25, 2013

Communist Party of Philippines issues cyclone ceasefire declaration

Vanguard December 2013 p. 7

(Above: Women soldiers of the New People's Army)
Statement issued by the Communist Party of the Philippines

The Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP-CC) hereby formally issues this ceasefire declaration to all concerned commands of the New People’s Army (NPA) and people’s militias in areas devastated by the recent super-typhoon Yolanda.

Concerned NPA units have, as a matter of course, ceased offensive operations since November 9. This ceasefire declaration will remain in effect up to 2359 hours of 24 November 2013. This ceasefire declaration covers the following regional commands of the NPA:

Eastern Visayas Regional Command
Panay Regional Command 
Central Visayas Regional Command
Negros Island Command

Respective regional commands are also to transmit this ceasefire declaration to the concerned provincial commands of the NPA, namely:

Masbate Island Command
Palawan Island Command
Mindoro Island Committee

Based on their assessment of the extent of the devastation of the recent super-typhoon in their areas of responsibility, the respective regional commands can extend the effectivity of this ceasefire declaration in their areas of concern, while other regional commands of the NPA can issue similar or limited ceasefire declarations in areas within the scope of their operations.

In line with standing policy and with the CPP’s call for calamity-related mobilization, the abovementioned NPA units have in fact already shifted their mode of operations even before super-typhoon Yolanda hit land on November 8. This ceasefire declaration, thus, is a positive declaration of the practical mode shift already in effect.

Until the aforementioned expiration of this declaration, all NPA units and people’s militias shall cease and desist from carrying out offensive military operations against the armed units and personnel of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), the Philippine National Police (PNP) and other paramilitary and armed groups attached to the Government of the Republic of the Philippines.

While this ceasefire declaration is in effect, all units of the NPA and people’s militias shall remain in active defense mode. They will, however, remain ever militant and vigilant to the encroachment and hostile movements of the AFP within the territory of the people’s democratic government.

The people demand that the AFP cease its offensive operations under its Oplan Bayanihan war of suppression. The CPP denounces the AFP for using the calamity relief operations as cover for its combat and surveillance operations within and outside the areas of devastation. The Filipino people urges the AFP to withdraw its combat units from within the guerrilla zones and demand that relief operations be carried out by civilian agencies.

(Above: NPA soldiers training)
With this ceasefire declaration, all local and international relief organizations are assured of safe passage through and into the calamity-affected guerrilla zones. The masses and their revolutionary organizations and governmental committees within the guerrilla zones are ever ready to help facilitate the distribution of emergency supplies to the people, giving priority to the injured, children, nursing mothers, single parents, pregnant women, the elderly, the handicapped and other vulnerable individuals.

This ceasefire declaration seeks to underscore the need to focus the attention of concerned NPA units and its Red fighters, as well as all units of the people’s militias to the immediate task of assisting the hundreds of thousands of people, especially small and landless peasants, farm workers, fisherfolk, indigenous peoples and the unemployed masses in the poor coastal and mountainous areas whose homes and sources of livelihood have been severely ravaged by supertyphoon Yolanda and who suffered deaths in their families and vast losses in property. Except for the small urban area in Tacloban City, the majority of the areas devastated by the super-typhoon are poor agricultural and fishing communities.

Since November 8, all NPA companies in the concerned areas have trained their efforts at helping the people rebuild their houses, recover farm animals, help harvest root crops for food, rebuild infrastructure for sourcing drinking water and facilitate the distribution of emergency supplies. The people in the guerrilla zones have carried out organized efforts to carry on with economic and commercial activity through their mass organizations, barrio revolutionary committees, local CPP branches, people’s militias and their people’s army.

The CPP calls on all its forces, all progressive and democratic organizations, relief agencies, doctors and health workers, agricultural experts and others who are willing to lend their expertise to coordinate with the revolutionary organizations in the guerrilla zones to help the people recover swiftly from the devastation and resume their normal lives.


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