NDFP denies armed encounter with gov’t troops on Dec. 23

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 25) — The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) denied that the communist party violated the holiday truce amid the reported encounters in Bicol and Iloilo on December 23.

“These were defensive actions by the NPA units involved in the face of armed attacks and sustained military operations by the AFP and the PNP (special operations unit), as attested to in separate statements issued by the Romulo Jallores Command, New People’s Army, Bicol, and the Napoleon Tumagtang Command, New People’s Army, Southern Panay,” said NDFP chairperson Fidel Agcaoili in a statement.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) recently claimed that there were encounters between government forces and armed rebels last Monday in Camarines Norte and in Iloilo, which is the beginning of the unilateral ceasefire.

READ: AFP reports two possible violations from NPA on first day of truce

The NDFP said that the statements of both the military and the police are “malicious charges.”

Further, NDFP said that it has yet to receive copies of the suspension of military and police operations.

“In this regard, we wish to inform the public that to-date the NDFP has yet to receive copies of the SOMO (Suspension of Military Operations) and SOPO (Suspension of Police Operations) to be issued by the AFP and PNP, respectively, on the basis of a mutual agreement as reflected in the ceasefire order of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP),” said Agcaoili.

The holiday ceasefire will take effect until January 7, 2020.

READ: Malacañang orders declaration of 'unilateral and reciprocal ceasefire' with communist rebels