MANILA--- The Eastern Mindanao Command (EMC) has expressed its gratitude to the New People's Army's (NPA) enforcement of a unilateral ceasefire in Surigao Del Norte and Agusan Del Norte as military units are currently focused in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief missions in quake-battered Surigao City.
"We welcome the move so that we can attend to the need of the people affected by the earthquake," EMC spokesperson Major Ezra Balagtey said in message to the Philippine News Agency Monday.
Surigao City and its adjacent areas was severely affected by the magnitude 6.7 earthquake that struck the locality at 10:03 p.m. Friday.
Despite this announcement, Balagtey said that their units will be keeping a sharp lookout in case some of the rebels might not comply with their unilateral ceasefire announcement.
"Of course, we will be on the lookout to protect ourselves from possible attack," he added.
The EMC is the military command tasked to secure Eastern and Northern Mindanao from external and internal threats.
On Sunday, the Regional Command of the New People's Army in North Eastern Mindanao Region (ROC-NPA-NEMR) declared a unilateral ceasefire in Surigao Del Norte and the municipalities of Cabadbaran, Tubay, Jabonga and Santiago in Agusan del Norte.
"This temporary ceasefire in areas covered by NPA Front 16, which started last Feb. 11, 2017 and will end at 11:55 in the evening of February 20, 2017, is being declared because of the intensity 6.7 earthquake on the night of Feb. 10, 2017," ROC-NPA-NEMR spokesperson Ka Ariel Montero said.
He added the ceasefire is declared to give NPA fighters in Front 16, all government agencies, including the police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), and non-government organizations, the opportunity to inspect the areas affected, especially the mountain areas, for damages from the earthquake. (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency