MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine president has declared a Christmas truce with communist guerrillas and urges them to reciprocate the goodwill gesture after recently scrapping peace talks with the insurgents and declaring them as terrorists.
President Rodrigo Duterte’s decision, which was made public by his spokesman Harry Roque Jr. on Wednesday, reflects the contrasting moves the volatile leader has taken to deal with the 48-year communist insurgency, one of Asia’s longest. Defense officials have asked Duterte not to make such a cease-fire declaration.
Roque says the Dec. 24-Jan. 2 cease fire aims to lessen public apprehension during the holidays.
Duterte has formally halted talks with the Maoist guerrillas due to continuing rebel attacks on government forces and declared them as terrorists in the first step of a legal process to proscribe their group.
Local journalism is essential.
Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.
Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter
Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.