The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) said it will terminate its ceasefire with the government Wednesday night, 13 days earlier than the agreed date of Jan. 15.

The ceasefire was “abbreviated” because of the government’s failure to extend its own ceasefire order, the CPP central committee said in a statement.

On Dec. 20, the CPP ordered its armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA), to implement a ceasefire until Jan. 15.

The ceasefire order was issued after the representatives of the government and National Democratic Front agreed on the truce in The Hague, Netherlands, on Dec. 17 and 18.

The truce was aimed at creating “favorable conditions for the resumption of peace negotiations being scheduled for this month” between the NDF and the government, the CPP said.

The CPP also that said it cut the truce short so NPA units will not be placed in “an unduly disadvantaged position” when the Armed Forces of the Philippines ends its suspension of military offensives (SOMO).

The AFP declared a suspension of offensive operations against the NPA from Dec. 16 to Jan. 2.

In a statement issued yesterday, after the CPP said it ended its ceasefire, AFP spokesman Col. Arnulfo Marcelo Burgos said the military will implement the “extended SOMO.”

“The objective of the implementation of the extended SOMO is to further demonstrate the AFP’s commitment, sincerity and resolve for peace in spite of conflicts with the insurgent group,” Burgos said.

An AFP operational directive readjusts the termination of the government’s previous unilaterally declared SOMO from 11:59 p.m. of Jan. 2 to 11:59 p.m. of Jan. 15., he said.

“While the AFP fully abides with the extended SOMO, it will maintain activities supporting the government and civil authorities’ peace, development, and humanitarian assistance programs. We will also continue our proactive defense countermeasures,” Burgos added. (John Roson)

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