Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City
December 21, 2016

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte declared a cessation of hostilities with the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA), including the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), this Christmas season during his keynote speech on the 81st anniversary celebration of the Armed Forces of the Philippines at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City.

In his statement, President Duterte announced a ceasefire from the rebel groups starting on December 23-27, and 31 to January 3, 2017. He called on all rebels, particularly the NPA, to come down from the mountains and be with their families on Christmas.

“I guarantee you na walang aresto, walang opresyon…” assured the President.

The Commander in Chief also commended AFP for implementing a new plan under the government’s long-term vision in the “AmBisyon Natin 2040” and for continuing the capabilities of the AFP modernization program.

President Duterte led the awarding ceremony for eighteen outstanding personnel who accomplished great feats in various areas of military service. This included two Outstanding Achievement Medal Award, one Distinguished Conduct Star Award and the AFP Bayanihan Award for civilian partners among others.

Former Philippine presidents Fidel Ramos and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, AFP Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Eduardo Año and Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel (J1) Brigadier General Arnel Duco assisted the President during the ceremony.

After the parade, the President viewed the static display of three mobile vehicles for the use of the Philippine Navy Mobile Command and Control Communications Center, Philippine Army Mobile and Control Communications Center and the AFP mobile kitchen.

This year’s celebration carries the theme, “Conquering Challenges, Harnessing Change”, and it began by a simultaneous flag-raising ceremony earlier today in different AFP camps and installations nationwide.

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