A band of rebels are going down the mountain (Photo screengrab from YouTube video).
President Rodrigo Duterte has declared a holiday ceasefire with the New People’s Army (NPA) as he invites the leftist group to leave their arms and come down to the city to spend the holidays with their loved ones.
As declared by the President, the holiday ceasefire will take effect from December 23 to 27 and on December 31st to January 2 and 3.
The President vowed that there will be no arrests on the course of the ceasefire.
“I guarantee you na walang aresto, walang oppression, wala sa lahat. At kung magsalubong kayo ng sundalo ng Pilipinas, sundalo ko, magkamay lang kayo. At pag-ayaw mo, huwag mo na lang tingnan,” he said.
(I guarantee you there will be no arrests, no oppression, no everything. And when you meet a soldier of the Philippines, my soldier, just shake hands. Or if you don’t want to, just don’t look at him.)
However, the President clarified that the ceasefire does not cover criminals, kidnappers and terrorist groups who usually operate and take advantage of the holiday season to commit lawless acts.
He also urged the Moro people to join the truce.
“It’s not your festivity…it’s ours Christians, and we would like you to share the moment with us,” invited Duterte.
The President made the declaration at the celebration of the 81st Anniversary of the Armed Forces of the Philippines on Wednesday. — Bryan de Paz | UNTV News & Rescue