The Philippine National Police (PNP) remains on alert to thwart any possible attempt by the New People’s Army (NPA) — the Communist Party of the Philippines’ (CPP) armed wing — to sow violence during the holidays, even as President Rodrigo Duterte ordered a holiday ceasefire with the Reds.
“Sa ngayon ay mananatili sa mataas na level ng ating security at kailangan mapigil natin ang ano mang tangka ng karahasan na isasagawa ng armadong grupong NPA. Ang nais naman natin dito sa panahon ng Pasko ay makapagdiwang ang ating mga kababayan ng maayos at mapayapa na wala namang karahasan (For now we remain at the highest level of our security and we must stop any attempt by violence to be carried out by the armed NPA group. What we want here at Christmas is that our people can celebrate peacefully and free from violence.),” said PNP Spokesperson, Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac.
He said police stations have been reminded to strictly monitor the security situation in their respective areas to prevent any movement by armed groups and attempt to launch any attack or violence.
The ceasefire takes effect from December 23 this year to Jan. 7, 2020.
Department of the Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año said the PNP would remain vigilant, as he urged NPA rebels to surrender and go back to the fold of the law.
“On this yuletide season, I also hope that the NPA rebels would realize that what they are fighting for is already a lost and despicable cause. It is better for them to surrender, avail of the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Community Integration Program (E-CLIP), rejoin mainstream society, and start a new life together with their families,” he said.
Año earlier said the Duterte administration has fulfilled its promise of a better life for former CPP-NPA members who have laid down their arms.
He said a total of PHP171.6 million in financial assistance package have been released to 2,882 rebel surrenderers under the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) from July 2018 to November 2019.
Based on the data of the DILG-National Barangay Operations Office, of the 2,882 surrenderers, 2,635 were granted immediate assistance — 1,788 for livelihood assistance and 655 firearms remuneration amounting to PHP171.6-million through E-CLIP from July 2018 to November 2019.
In the past years, the CPP usually announce a unilateral ceasefire during the holiday season, which coincides with the anniversary of the NPA on December 26.
The CPP-NPA has been listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. (PNA)