The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Saturday clarified that law enforcement operations of the Philippine National Police that it supports are not covered by the government's ceasefire during the holidays.
"The Armed Forces of the Philippines abides by the suspension of military operation (SOMO) declared by His Excellency President Benigno Aquino III against the New People’s Army (NPA)," the AFP said in a statement.
The ceasefire will start 12:01 a.m. of Dec. 23, 2015 until 11:59 p.m. of January 3, 2016.
The AFP said that the unilateral declaration of SOMO, as recommended by the Department of National Defense, only covers military operations against the NPA.
"It does not cover law enforcement operations conducted by the Philippine National Police that the AFP supports against other threat groups and wanted personalities," the military added.
The AFP added that the SOMO will allow soldiers to spend Christmas and New Year with their families.
"The AFP hopes that NPA members would use this time of peace to reflect. We call on them to surrender, abandon the armed struggle and ultimately return to the fold of law," it said.
The CPP earlier declared a 12-day Christmas truce from 12:01 a.m. of Dec. 23, 2015 until 11:59 of Jan. 3, 2016. —ALG, GMA News