(In response to Mr. Jonathan Magistrado)
April 11, 2014
We extend our warmest greetings to you in behalf of the National Democratic Front-Bicol.
Your query whether the CPP-NPA-NDF in Bicol will declare a unilateral ceasefire this Holy Week signifies your leaning towards the people’s welfare amidst the ongoing armed conflict between the Government of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines. We value such position of yours.
The revolutionary forces recognize and respect the people’s religious traditions and activities. The document GUIDELINES FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE PEOPLE’S DEMOCRATIC GOVERNMENT guarantees the rights of the people to enjoy their freedom of conscience and religion.
Moreover, in the middle of the ongoing armed conflict between the AFP-PNP and the New People’s Army, the NPA strictly adheres to the provisions in the Comprehensive Agreement on the Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law that ensure the rights of civilians and those taking no active part in the hostilities.
The revolutionary forces therefore guarantee the safe undertaking of the people’s Pabasa, Visita Altares, Siyete Palabras, and other religious activities in the guerrilla zones. With or without the presence of a ceasefire declaration, the people can freely carry out such activities because the People’s Democratic Government uphold their rights.
As of today, the Military Commission of the Communist Party of the Philippines’ Central Committee has yet to declare a unilateral ceasefire. It is the NPA’s central leadership which takes the rightful position to evaluate the national situation and declare a unilateral ceasefire if need be. Please be assured that we will inform you of any development regarding this matter.
The New People’s Army in Bicol will maintain a posture of active defense. Our forces must be vigilant of the AFP-PNP’s devious ploys, most especially at a time when the people are in deep observance of their traditions. You may call to mind, Jonathan, that despite the AFP’s declaration of a Suspension of Offensive Military Operations last Christmas Season, widespread violations were committed as AFP forces continued to launch attacks on our territories.
We hope that we have responded comprehensively to your query. We would gladly entertain written interviews coming from our friends in the media. You may send your questions via our facebook account, or to our email address at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will strive to submit prompt replies.
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