MANILA -- Interior and Local Government Officer-in-Charge Catalino S. Cuy has called on the Philippine National Police (PNP) to remain vigilant as they perform their law enforcement functions despite the government’s declaration of a holiday ceasefire with the New People’s Army (NPA).

“We welcome President Duterte’s ceasefire declaration because this would give policemen and their families greater peace of mind during the holiday season. However, the PNP should never let their guards down for their own safety,” Cuy said in a statement Thursday.

For his part, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Undersecretary for Peace and Order Eduardo M. Año said, “The PNP should not drop its guard and they must stay vigilant, especially during the celebration of the Communist Party of the Philippines’ 49th founding anniversary on December 26.”

Presidential Spokesman Secretary Harry Roque on Wednesday announced President Duterte had ordered a unilateral suspension of combat operations against the NPA rebels from Dec. 24, 2017 to Jan. 2, 2018.

The PNP has already ordered all units, stations, and offices to adhere to the President’s directive and immediately suspend their operations against the communists.

Cuy said the PNP still has another task to face even in the midst of the Christmas holidays, that is, ensuring that the public follows the advisories of local authorities in the light of typhoon Vinta’s onslaught in Mindanao region.

“The public should not only be forewarned of the possible impact of Typhoon Vinta, but they should likewise obey local government officials when there is a need for preemptive evacuation. And the PNP has a big role to play in this aspect,” Cuy said.

As of the latest weather bulletin, “Vinta” has intensified into a tropical storm and is expected to hit land over the Caraga-Davao region between Thursday evening and Friday morning. (DILG PR)