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Nation

NPA violates holiday truce – AFP

The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - The New People’s Army (NPA) violated the holiday ceasefire it declared when its members attacked an Army outpost in Surigao del Sur yesterday morning, the military said yesterday.

Col. Isidro Purisima, commander of the 402nd Infantry Brigade, said the rebels under an alias Commander Rodel harassed members of the 2nd Special Forces Battalion in Miguel town.

“We are not surprised by this event. Although the CPP (Communist Party of the Philippines) central committee declared a ceasefire effective Dec. 23, 2015 until Jan. 3, 2016, their armed wing, the NPA, continued their banditry,” Purisima said.

 “Either they lack sincerity on their pronouncement or they have no firm control over their comrades at the lower level,” he said.

The attack occurred  around 9:30 a.m. while the soldiers were manning an outpost on the outskirts of Barangay Bitaugan.

There was no immediate response from the NPA.

Extend truce

Meanwhile, Sen. Francis Escudero said the holiday truce with communist rebels should be extended until the May 9, 2016 elections.

Escudero said the extension would ensure peaceful elections and assure the public of improved peace and order amid fears of violence when the campaign season starts in February. 

He said a ceasefire extension would also be a “good step” toward the resumption of peace talks between the government and communist rebels.

Negotiations with communist rebels were suspended after they demanded the release of their consultants from government custody. – Jaime Laude, Christina Mendez

             

ACIRC

BARANGAY BITAUGAN

CHRISTINA MENDEZ

COMMANDER RODEL

COMMUNIST PARTY OF THE PHILIPPINES

FRANCIS ESCUDERO

INFANTRY BRIGADE

ISIDRO PURISIMA

JAIME LAUDE

NBSP

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