Saturday, August 20, 2016

Government forces, communist rebels both declare ceasefire

From the Philippine News Agency (Aug 20): Government forces, communist rebels both declare ceasefire

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) will fully comply with all operational guidelines brought about by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s Declaration of Restoration of Ceasefire Saturday. This was emphasized by AFP public affairs office chief Col. Edgard Arevalo in a statement.

“The Declaration of Restoration of Ceasefire by the President and Commander-in-Chief (CinC) Rodrigo Duterte that takes effect midnight of 20 August 2016, and his clear instructions for the AFP to restore its erstwhile operational guidelines will be communicated forthwith to all AFP units on the ground by all means possible as we speak,” he added.

“The nation can expect that the guidelines will be followed to the letter as it has been so prior its lifting by the CinC due to the want of similar declaration from and attacks on the AFP personnel by the other party to the talk,” Arevalo stressed.

He added the entire AFP was as hopeful and prayerful as the nation and its people were and that this restoration of ceasefire would be matched with the same zeal and sincerity by the other party.

“So that in the end peace, progress, stability, and security will be for our people to relish,” Arevalo pointed out.

Last Friday, the Communist Party of the Philippines and its New People’s Army (NPA) declared a seven-day unilateral ceasefire hours after the release of its high-ranking leaders Benito and Wilma Tiamzon, who were named consultants to peace talks scheduled Aug. 22 to 26 in Oslo, Norway.

The rebel ceasefire will take effect 12:01 a.m. of Aug. 21 until 11:59 p.m. of Aug. 27.

Duterte, on his first State-of-the-Nation Address last July 25, declared a unilateral ceasefire against the rebels as a sign of goodwill.

But he was forced to lift it five days later after unprovoked NPA attacks against militiamen in Compostela Valley killed one and wounded four others last July 27 and failure of the rebels to declare their own version of the government ceasefire.

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