PNP urges Reds to go down, spend holidays with families

MANILA — The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Monday urged remaining communist rebels to take time to spend the holiday season with their families and see for themselves significant reforms being implemented by the government.

PNP spokesperson, Chief Supt. Benigno Durana Jr., made this statement after the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) declared a unilateral ceasefire in time for the holiday season.

“Although we will continue our law enforcement operations and internal security operations, kami din po ay nananawagan sa ating mga kapatid sa NPA na bumaba na po kayo (we also call on our brothers and sisters who are NPA members to go down) and spend time with your families and makikita niyo po ang malaking pagbabago dito sa ating bansa (you will see the big changes in the country),” Durana said in a radio interview.

“Lahat po ng mga pinaglalaban nila noon, agrarian reform, kahirapan at injustices, ito po ay in-address na ng ating pamahalaan sa pamumunong ng ating pangulong (All things that they are fighting for: agrarian reform, poverty and injustices, all these are being addressed by the government under the leadership of President) Rodrigo Duterte,” Durana said in radio interview.

Durana, however, said rebels can go down from the mountains as long as they are unarmed.

He also challenged the rebels to open their minds and realize that they are merely being used by CPP-NPA founder Jose Maria Sison for his personal interests.

“They don’t actually want to end the conflict just for their own selfish interest. Pero (para sa) ating mga kapatid, kababayan po natin na nasa NPA ay nananawagan po tayo na panahon na tayo ay magsama-sama, isulong po natin, sabay-sabay po tayo ang kapayapaan at kaunlaran ng ating bansang Pilipinas (To our brothers in the NPA, we are urging you to be one with us in pushing for peace and development of our nation, the Philippines),” Durana said.

The communist movement’s ceasefire is slated to begin at 12:01 a.m. of Dec. 24 until 11:59 p.m. of Dec. 26, and on 12:01 a.m. of Dec. 31 to 11:59 p.m. of Jan. 1, 2019. (PNA)