Defense chief says no to Christmas truce

December 05, 2018

SAYING he will not allow the Communist Party of the Philippines-New Peoples Army (CPP-NPA) to celebrate their 50th anniversary, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana yesterday said he will not recommend a Christmas truce with the communist rebels this year.

Lorenzana said he objects to the suspension of offensive military operations (SOMO) with the rebels.

“No. I have objected to a SOMO. We shall not allow the CPP to use a SOMO to celebrate their 50th Anniversary,” Lorenzana said.

Lorenzana said he will not recommend a declaration of SOMO this year with the CPP-NPA because there was allegedly an order from the communist rebel commanders to intensify operations against the military and a SOMO would open them to attacks from the enemy.

The military traditionally declares a SOMO during the holidays, which is also reciprocated by the communist rebels.

The CPP-NPA will celebrate their 50th founding anniversary on December 26, 2018.

Lorenzana, a retired military general, last year also rejected a Christmas truce with communist rebels

However, President Rodrigo Duterte declared a suspension of military operations that lasted from December 24, 2017 to January 2, 2018.