Duterte restores ceasefire with Reds ahead of Oslo peace talks
President Rodrigo Duterte has restored the government’s unilateral ceasefire with communist rebels ahead of the peace negotiations with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) in Oslo, Norway next week.
Presidential Adviser for the Peace Process Jesus Dureza, who made the announcement on Saturday before leaving for Oslo, said the truce will take effect on 12 midnight of August 21 and “will last as long as necessary to bring peace in the land” to “provide an enabling environment for the success of the peace talks.”
Duterte first declared the ceasefire with Reds during his first State of the Nation Address (Sona) last July 25, but lifted it five days later as the ultimatum he gave lapsed without reciprocation.
“Today, the President restores the effects of that ceasefire declaration precisely at this strategic time when we are all at the onset of the formal resumption of peace talks that had previously stalled for the last four years. The operational guideline of the said ceasefire declaration for the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Philippine National Police and other security units are also hereby restored,” Dureza said.
“The enabling environment brought about by this ‘silencing of the guns’ will hopefully go a long way in bringing about an expeditious and early resolution to our differences and aspirations that have long divided us as a people… I say again: the Duterte government will walk the extra mile for peace,” he added.
The Communist Party of the Philippines on Friday night declared a seven-day unilateral ceasefire with the government, which would take effect until 11:59 on Aug. 27, to “celebrate and bolster” the resumption of peace negotiations.
READ: Reds declare 7-day truce
The declaration came hours after the release of NDFP peace consultants, including top insurgent leaders Benito and Wilma Tiamzon, who will participate in the talks next week. IDL
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