Philippines restores ceasefire vs Communist rebels
The Philippine government on Saturday restored a ceasefire with Communist rebels after the latter declared a truce late Friday as both sides prepared to resume peace talks that were last held in 2011.
Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Secretary Jesus Dureza announced the restoration of unilateral ceasefire with the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) New People’s Army (NPA) and National Democratic Front (NDF) before government negotiators flew to Oslo, Norway for negotiations.
“I am pleased to announce that President Rodrigo Duterte has restored the effects of the unilateral ceasefire with the CPP-NPA-NDF effective 12 midnight tonight, 21 August 2016,” Dureza told reporters in a pre-departure press conference at Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3.
“The duration of the ceasefire will last for as long as necessary to bring peace in the land and also in order to provide an enabling environment for the success of the peace negotiations that will start in Oslo, Norway on August 22,” he added.
Dureza told reporters that he was directed by President Rodrigo Duterte to make the announcement citing peace negotiations were to start very soon. Duterte had declared a ceasefire during his State of the Nation Address on July 25 but he scrapped it on July 30 after the rebels did not announce they were complying.
Duterte had ordered the release of 20 persons detained at the national police headquarters for various crimes. The Netherlands-based NDF said these persons are needed in the peace talks. Released Friday where Benito and Wilma Tiamzon, said to be the highest ranking officials of the Communist Party of the Philippines.
Dureza said negotiations will probably take around six months. Fighting with Communist rebels have been taking place since the early 1970s making it one of the longest insurgencies in Asia. Robina Asido.