Even without ceasefire, AFP and PNP cannot stop thousands from celebrating the CPP’s 50th anniversary
Of course, it is up to Duterte and the leadership of the AFP and PNP to decide whether they will declare a unilateral ceasefire or not this holiday season.
In not unilaterally declaring a ceasefire, however, they are showing complete disregard of the traditional holidays and chosen to continue mounting combat operations and raining bombs while the people celebrate Christmas and New Year. They will also be wasting the opportunity to give their weary and homesick foot soldiers a short respite from their non-stop but mostly fruitless operations.
The AFP and PNP reasoning that they cannot trust the NPA to abide by the ceasefire is flimsy. The public knows that the NPA has always strictly abided by the unilateral declarations of ceasefire issued by the CPP. Armed encounters during NPA ceasefires are typically defensive responses to AFP offensives. Besides, the AFP and PNP could always remain on alert, whether they declare a ceasefire or not.
The fact is, the AFP and PNP leadership are so obsessed at preventing thousands of people from celebrating the CPP’s 50th anniversary that they have chosen to forego declaring their own unilateral ceasefire.
But however they try, the military and police will fail miserably as assemblies and meetings are already slated to be mounted inside and outside the NPA guerrilla zones with thousands set to gather and celebrate the achievements and victories of the Party.