MANILA, Philippines – The National Democratic Front (NDF), the political wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), said it has finally received copies of the documents stating the government’s orders for suspension of offensive military operations (SOMO) and the suspension of offensive police operations (SOPO).
Fidel Agcaoili, NDF peace panel chairman, confirmed they received the documents from Labor Secretary and government chief peace negotiator Silvestre Bello III on December 26.
“We hope that from here on the unilateral and reciprocal ceasefires declared by the two Parties shall proceed effectively,” Agcaoili said in a statement.
CPP founder and NDP chief political consultant Jose Maria “Joma” Sison earlier asked for the copies of the government’s written order for the state security troops to stand down in observance of the holiday ceasefire.
Both the government and the communist group declared a truce on Sunday for the holiday season.
President Rodrigo Duterte also ordered the reconstitution of the government’s negotiating panel for the possible resumption of peace talks with the communist rebels.
The holiday ceasefire took effect midnight of December 23 and will end on January 7, 2020, at 11:59 p.m. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)