The Communist Party of the Philippines(CPP) and its armed group, the New Peoples Army (NPA) have forged an agreement with Philippine military for an 18-day ceasefire.
Inquirer.net reports: "The CPP ceasefire will take effect starting from 12:01 a.m. of Dec. 16 to 11:59 p.m. of January 3, 2011. It followed a similar action from the Armed Forces of the Philippines which said it would be on “defensive mode” during the ceasefire duration".
The ceasefire agreement was reached by the negotiating panels of the government and the CCP-NDF during a meeting in Hong Kong last week.
“This entire ceasefire order is issued on humanitarian grounds and as an act of good will in order to allow the commands, units and personnel of the contending armies of the GRP and the NDFP to observe the traditional holidays and enjoy the spirit of the yuletide season and the New Year,” the statement said.
The 18-day ceasefire would be the longest in the past 10 years of the local communist insurgency, government chief negotiator Alex Padilla earlier said.
The Philippine government has been fighting the communist insurgency in the country for over four decades causing death to thousands of rebels on the CPP-NPA side and officers and troops on the government side.
The US and some European countries have declared the CPP-NPA a foreign terrorist organization based in the Philippines.
The peace panels are set to resume formal talks in Oslo, Norway in February after a five-year hiatus