AFP, Reds call truce
MANILA, Philippines—The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Saturday declared an 18-day suspension of military operations (Somo) against communist insurgents, from midnight of Dec. 16 up to 1 a.m. of Jan. 3, according to the AFP public information office.
The rebels, for their part, declared a cease-fire in the southern Philippines to allow unhampered relief and rehabilitation in provinces ravaged by Typhoon “Pablo,” from Dec. 5 to Jan. 3.
“The objective of this yuletide Somo is to demonstrate the AFP’s commitment, sincerity and resolve for peace in spite of conflicts with the insurgent group. The Somo will also be an opportunity for soldiers and villagers in conflict areas to celebrate the holidays peacefully,” said Armed Forces spokesperson Col. Arnulfo Burgos on Saturday.
AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Jessie Dellosa praised the “collective and selfless efforts of the soldiers,” especially their work in search, rescue and retrieval operations in Mindanao in the wake of Pablo.
Both the Army and the rebels are involved in relief operations and they declared informal truces on Dec. 10. Nikko Dizon; AP
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