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Philippine gov't welcomes rebels' truce declaration

12-20-2011 15:48 BJT

MANILA, Dec. 20 (Xinhua) -- The Philippine government welcomed on Tuesday the unilateral declaration of six-day ceasefire of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF).

"We are heartened that the CPP-NPA-NDF have found it in their hearts to declare ceasefires on Christmas and New Year and give its fighters a respite from their life of violence," said Alexander Padilla, chief government peace negotiator with leftist rebels.

Padilla said the government would have wanted a commitment to a longer ceasefire to give the conflict-affected communities a chance for an extended celebration in this season of hope, peace and goodwill.

The CPP, the umbrella organization of the leftist movement, declared a truce with the government troops from Dec. 24-26 and from Dec. 31 to Jan. 2 next year to give rebels time to spend the holidays with their loved ones.

But The government peace panel was upset that the rebels taunted the ceasefire declared by the government by launching deadly attacks on the military doing peace work under Oplan Bayanihan.

On Dec. 16, the first day of the 18-day truce of the government, the NPA attacked the soldiers in the southern Philippine province of Surigao del Sur, leaving five Army troops dead.

The government peace panel, however, said the rebels' declaration of abbreviated ceasefires and willingness to assist in the rescue and relief operations in areas affected by the storm Washi (local name Sendong) were most welcome.

Washi hit parts of central and southern Philippines last week, leaving nearly 1,000 people dead.

Editor:Zhang Hao |Source: Xinhua

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