The New People’s Army command in Rizal province announced a temporary ceasefire with Philippine authorities to be able to assist victims of the recent flooding caused by non-stop heavy rain.
The Rizal-based Narciso Antazo Aramil Command said the move was in compliance with the directive from the Communist Party of the Philippines leadership and the National Democratic Front. It added that the truce will take effect starting at midnight of Aug. 11 Saturday) and will end at midnight of Aug. 17 (Friday).
The Manila Standard Today tried to get a reaction from the military, but military spokesman Col. Arnolfo Marcelo Burgos Jr. could not be reached for comment.
“The full force of NAAC-NPA-Rical has temporarily suspended its offensive against the Armed Forces of Philippines and the Philippine National Police in Rizal for one week in order to mobilize relief operation to the victims and families affected by the flooding,” the NAAC said through its spokesman Macario Liwanag.
Liwanag added that during the week-long ceasefire, military and police forces will be allowed to enter and leave territories of the “people’s democratic government” to visit their families or assist flood victims.
“They are free to enter and leave territories without the fear of possible offensive actions against them,” the rebel group said.
They, however, said that the NPA will remain in “defensive mode” against possible attacks by government forces.
The rebels alleged that in previous years, the military and the police used disasters as an opportunity to enter their territories to “spy or conduct offensives”.
“If forces from the PNP-AFP-CAFGU launch attacks against our unit and territories, we will be ready to fight to defend ourselves,” the Rizal NPA added.
They also appealed to young officers and ordinary soldiers and policemen to “disobey orders” from their superiors to conduct military operations at a time when the NPA is helping people affected by the floods.
The group said instead of launching military operations, government forces should instead visit their loved ones and help them recover from the calamity.
“We are also accepting any donations in cash or in kind to those who want to help the victims of floodings in Rizal.”