Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Quintos Deles welcomed the joint suspension of military and police operations (SOMO-SOPO) announced by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) noting “more reasons for an extended Christmas ceasefire” this year with the Communist Party of the Philippines/National Peoples' Army/National Democratic Front (CPP/NPA/NDF).
“The SOMO-SOPO covering the period 19 December (from midnight of 18th) 2014 to 19 January 2015 is in line with government’s Christmas tradition, as we have always wished to provide for our people's peaceful and joyful celebration of this holy season and a hope-filled welcome to a new year.”
Citing more reasons, the peace adviser also underscored that the “cessation of hostilities will allow unhampered rehabilitation of calamity-affected communities, many of which are also conflict-affected, and sustain the goodwill generated from the positive results of the collective disaster preparedness undertaken by government and communities.”
The unilateral ceasefire also puts in mind the much-anticipated Papal Visit in the
“With the silencing of guns, our preparations for and celebration of Pope Francis' visit may be carried out with undistracted reflection and prayers and deep hope for abundant blessings to be showered on our people,” said Deles.
The AFP and PNP, on the other hand, assured that the security forces will continue to perform their functions in ensuring the safety and welfare of the people for the duration of the SOMO-SOPO, covering the country's Christmas and New Year's celebration.
“After the difficult trials of the past Christmas seasons, we pray for a peaceful, happy and hopeful season for everyone—a chance for all families and communities to come together in celebration and steadfast hope,” wished Deles.