From the Bicol Today (Apr 15): Absence of ceasefire, CPP-NPA-NDF assures holy week peaceful observance
Bicol NPA rebels in formation during Communist Party of the Philippines 45th founding anniversary. Photo grab from facebook
Rebel groups in the Bicol Region assured freedom of religion and practices to folks living in the countryside and guerrilla zones during the Lenten season despite the absence of declaration of Lenten ceasefire.
This is the assurance from the underground National Democratic Front-Bicol to queries regarding the observance of the Holy Week.
The underground movement said in an emailed statement: “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.”
Maria Roja Banua, new spokesperson of NDF-Bicol, said “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.”
Although the NDF-Bicol spokesperson admitted Saturday that there is no declared ceasefire from the “Military Commission” of the Communist Party of the Philippines’ Central Committee which 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,” said Banua.