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Duterte restores truce with Reds

President Duterte has restored the unilateral ceasefire with the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army, Presidential Adviser Jesus Dureza announced yesterday.

Dureza made the announcement before leaving for Oslo, Norway for the resumption of peace talks between the Philippine government and the National Democratic Front.

The government ceasefire was declared after the CPP-NPA declared on Friday a seven-day unilateral truce effective 12:01 a.m. on August 21 and ends 11:59 p.m. on August 27.

The CPP said the ceasefire aims to “celebrate and bolster the resumption of formal GRP-NDFP peace talks.”

“This ceasefire declaration is encouraged by the GRP’s facilitation of the release of nearly all NDFP consultants who are set to participate in peace negotiations in the course of the next several months,” the CPP said in a statement.

“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 said.

He added that the operational guidelines of the ceasefire declaration for the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Philippine National Police, and other security units of the government are also restored.

Dureza said the duration of the government 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” slated August 22 to 26.

“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,” he said.

The President during his State-of-the-Nation Address last July 25 first issued the unilateral ceasefire in a bid to stop violence and bring peace to communities affected by the communist insurgency.

But after only six days, the President lifted the ceasefire due to the failure of the CPP-NPA-NDF to timely reciprocate with their own. (ELENA L. ABEN)