Palace welcomes deal on interim ceasefire between gov’t, NDF
Malacañang on Thursday welcomed the agreement on an interim joint ceasefire between the government and the National Democratic Front (NDF) during the fourth round of peace talks in The Netherlands.
“This will immediately take effect as soon as the guidelines and ground rules are approved, and shall remain in effect until a permanent ceasefire is forged between the two panels,” Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said in as a statement.
On Wednesday, the government and the NDF signed an agreement to forge an interim ceasefire.
“We hope this prevents further hostilities and unnecessary loss of lives on the ground,” Abella said.
President Rodrigo Duterte on February 3 ordered the lifting the government’s unilateral ceasefire with the communist rebels after many government soldiers died due to attacks from the New People’s Army (NPA).
Duterte earlier had hesitation on the resumption of the peace talks but set conditions for the rebels.
He said the communists should stop collecting revolutionary taxes, should not claim any territory, and release all its captives.
On Thursday, the President said that the communist rebels have promised to release the four remaining prisoners of war in their custody.
“The peace process, while seemingly slow, highlights the maturing social and political sense of the Filipino. Together let us build communities that are just and peaceful. This is what being an independent sovereign nation is all about,” Abella said. JE/rga
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