The Philippine government and leftist insurgents reached a temporary cease-fire agreement over the holidays.
The Philippine government began a month long unilateral cease-fire with with the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) on Friday that will help ensure peace not only during the holidays but also during the five-day visit of Pope Francis in January next year.
Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Quintos Deles welcomed the joint suspension of military operations announced by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) stating the “cessation of hostilities will allow the unhampered rehabilitation of calamity-affected communities, many of which are also conflict-affected.”
The temporary cease-fire is scheduled leading up to the arrival of Pope Francis, who is due to arrive in the mostly Catholic Philippines on Jan. 15.
“With the silencing of guns, our preparations for and celebration of Pope Francis' visit may be carried out with undistracted prayers and deep hope for abundant blessings to be showered on our people,” Deles said.
The CPP have been fighting to overthrow the government for 45 years. The conflict has killed more than 40,000 people.