Communist rebels declared a longer ceasefire on government forces in several areas of Mindanao, vowing to help the victims of floods caused by tropical storm Sendong.

Norsen Mangubat, spokesperson of the Communist Party of the Philippines’ North Central Mindanao Regional Committee, said the group has ordered all units of the New People’s Army (NPA) to suspend all tactical offensives in the cities of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan, and the provinces of Misamis Oriental, Bukidnon, and Lanao del Norte, from Dec. 21 to Jan. 3, 2012.

“In particular, the NPA is to suspend offensive actions against military detachments, camps, and outposts, including police stations and outposts,” Mangubat said in a statement.

Earlier this week, the CPP Central Committee ordered all NPA units in the country to implement a ceasefire only from Dec. 24 to Dec. 26 and from Dec. 31 to Jan. 2, 2012.

The CPP leadership’s order came days after the Armed Forces started implementing a unilateral ceasefire from Dec. 16 to Jan. 2.

Meanwhile, Mangubat said all material and financial “donations” received by the CPP-NCMR for Christmas and the CPP’s 43rd anniversary celebration shall be diverted to the retrieval, relief, and rehabilitation of flood victims.

In a separate statement, Jorge Madlos, spokesman of the National Democratic Front-Mindanao, demanded that big companies donate to the victims.

“We are requiring all mining, logging, and agri-business companies that have profited in the past decades and in the present from their business operations to make substantial contributions to defray the cost for effective retrieval, relief and sustainable rehabilitation,” he said. (John Roson)

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