MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Philippine communist rebels have declared a cease-fire to celebrate Christmas and the 45th founding anniversary of their party.

In a statement Wednesday, the outlawed Communist Party of the Philippines directed the New People’s Army to be vigilant against attacks by security forces during the Dec. 24-Dec. 26 and Dec. 31-Jan. 2 cease-fires. The Maoist party was established on Dec. 26, 1968.

Armed forces spokesman Lt. Col. Ramon Zagala said the military welcomed the rebel announcement but questioned the limited period covered.

Communist rebels on central Leyte and Samar islands, which were the worst-hit by Typhoon Haiyan, have already declared their own cease-fire up to mid-January because of the devastation caused by last month’s storm.