Philippine rebel group declares seven-day unilateral truce

Manila, Aug 19 (IANS) The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) on Friday night issued a unilateral declaration for a seven-day ceasefire to “celebrate and bolster” the resumption of formal peace talks with the government.

The ceasefire will take effect starting 12.01 a.m. on August 21 and will last until 11.59 p.m. on August 27 (local time), the Information Bureau of the CPP said in a statement.

The formal talks between the negotiating panels of the leftist National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and the Philippine government are scheduled for August 22-26 in Oslo, Norway, Xinhua news agency reported.

The ceasefire declaration is encouraged by the Philippine government’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, said the CPP and New People’s Army (NPA), armed wing of the CPP-NDF.

Earlier on Friday, the government released NDFP consultants Benito Tiamzon and Wilma Austria Tiamzon, who were leading members of the CPP and key consultants of the NDFP when they were arrested in March 2014.

–IANS

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