LOOK: PNP suspends all operations vs Reds

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 27 2016 11:11 AM

The Philippine National Police on Wednesday issued a suspension of police operations against communist rebels after President Rodrigo Duterte announced a unilateral ceasefire with the communist insurgency.

The PNP said the Suspension of Offensive Police Operations (SOPO) is effective immediately.

"All units shall refrain from initiating tactical police operations against the [Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army-National Democratic Front]," the order from the Office of the Deputy chief PNP for Operations read.

The order does not cover law enforcement operations including the service of arrest and search warrants, anti-criminality patrols and establishment of checkpoints.

All SAF test missions will be suspended except competency trainings.

President Duterte made the announcement of the ceasefire in his first State of the Nation Address (SONA) and ahead of his administration's first formal talks with communist rebels on August 20.

"To the CPP [Communist Party of the Philippines], let us end decades of ambuscades, we are going nowhere and it is getting bloodier by the day. To immediately stop violence in the ground, restore peace in the communities, I am now announcing a unilateral ceasefire with the CPP-NPA-NDF effective immediately and call on...the NDF and its forces to respond," he said.

A unilateral ceasefire on the part of the government means the military will halt offensive operations against communist rebels.

CPP founder Jose Maria Sison and and National Democratic Front (NDF) peace negotiator Luis Jalandoni said the unilateral ceasefire declaration of Duterte is a welcome development.

The CPP-NPA-NDF is willing to reciprocate the move, but it wants to see the actual content of the ceasefire declaration, the actual withdrawal of troops; and if possible, have political detainees released along with the ceasefire declaration.

"I welcome President Duterte's announcement of unilateral ceasefire of the AFP and PNP in relation to the NPA. Within the hour, the NDFP will issue a positive response," Sison said.

"It is still waiting for the full text of the Duterte's ceasefire order. It also anticipates the release of the political prisoners under a general amnesty. We share with President Duterte the determination to resume the formal talks and work for a just and lasting peace."

Presidential peace adviser Jesus Dureza earlier said that some 11 detained leftist leaders will be released so they can participate in the talks.