Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo M. Año asked communist rebels on Monday to lay down their arms and get back to the government’s fold and be reintegrated to society.
DILG Secretary Eduardo M. Año (PCOO / MANILA BULLETIN)
He issued the call after the Philippine government and the National Democratic Front (NDF) declared a unilateral ceasefire from December 23, 2019 to January 7, 2020.
Año expressed hope that members of the New People’s Army (NPA) would surrender and avail of the government’s Enhanced Comprehensive Local Community Integration Program (ECLIP) where they can rejoin mainstream society and “start a new life together with their families.’’
“I also hope that the NPA rebels would realize that what they are fighting for is already a lost and despicable cause,’’ Año said.
Earlier, Año has ordered all the field units of the Philippine National Police (PNP) to comply with the ceasefire agreement between the government and the NDF.
“It is the prerogative of the President, as commander-in-chief, to declare a unilateral ceasefire for the Christmas season and we abide by his decision,’’ he added.
While government forces remain vigilant and take a strong defensive stance, Año said the ceasefire will allow “our policemen and soldiers in the field to spend a meaningful celebration of Christmas with their families.’’