Philippine leader declares unilateral ceasefire for Christmas

By REUTERS
December 20, 2017 06:25
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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has declared a 10-day unilateral ceasefire with communist rebels to allow Filipinos to celebrate a "stress-free" Christmas season, two weeks after peace talks with the insurgents were formally scrapped.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said Duterte had ordered the army and police to suspend offensive operations from December 24 to January 2 "to lessen the apprehension of the public this Christmas season."

He said he expected the Maoists and their political leaders to "do a similar gesture of goodwill."

There was no immediate comment from the communist rebel movement, whose top leaders and negotiators have been living in exile in The Netherlands since the late 1980s.

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