Statement of the Government of the Philippines Peace Panel in talks with CPP/NPA/NDF:
On typhoon Yolanda

[November 15, 2013]

“Let Us Work Together in Peace”

Typhoon Yolanda has ruined the lives of millions of our people, and has made a wasteland of vast areas in the Visayas, even as the Philippines is still reeling from a series of catastrophes in the Visayas—Pablo, Sendong, and the earthquake in Bohol, to name the most recent—that have wreaked havoc on the lives, property, and tranquility of our people. Today, in the wake of Yolanda, the most powerful storm in human memory, the entire country and most of the world are engaged in the most massive relief and recovery operations in our history.

We are all doing our share in this effort, as Filipinos and as human beings, with compassion, and in solidarity with our suffering sisters and brothers, their children and elders, and their shattered communities.

The task is massive. Government needs all the help it can get. Indeed, the global community has responded generously. Many Filipinos have risen to the call to provide all kinds of relief to the victims and their families, and are gearing for the challenge of long-term reconstruction.

Never has our motherland been in such a need for national unity since perhaps the Second World War. United, we shall overcome this tragedy. Divided, we shall fail our people.

We call on all Filipinos to set aside the politics and ideologies that have divided us, and with arms linked kapit-bisig, together surmount this crisis.

We are heartened by the declaration of a ten-day ceasefire in typhoon-affected areas by our brothers and sisters engaged in armed struggle against the government. But the task is huge; it will need more than a token suspension of armed hostilities in a limited area. We therefore urge the Communist Party of the Philippines to extend a humanitarian ceasefire indefinitely and nationwide and join the rest of the country in mobilizing all necessary resources in a human chain of service to our people. We ask them to pick up the tools that give life, help rebuild from destruction, and promote the peace we so badly need in our land.

Our armed forces and police have changed their mode of operations from armed resistance to unarmed resistance, rescue, relief and rehabilitation in Yolanda-affected areas. We invite our brothers and sisters in the New People’s Army to do the same by participating in this national effort.

For the sake of our people.

In the name of humanity.

For peace in our beloved Pilipinas.

opapp.gov.ph