Communist Party of the Philippines to Issue Ceasefire if Duterte Administration Does the Same

Communist Party of the Philippines to Issue Ceasefire if Duterte Administration Does the Same

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If the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte responds favorably to a new statement coming from the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) on Sunday, July 31 that said, “To further support peace negotiations, the CPP is willing to issue a unilateral ceasefire declaration separately but simultaneously with the Duterte government on August 20. The time-frame can be determined through negotiations,” a ceasefire between the government forces and communist rebels could happen by the end of August.

The quoted statement came a day after Duterte withdrew a “unilateral ceasefire” against the communist rebels that was announced during his first State of the Nation Address (SONA). “As earlier planned, the negotiating panels of the NDFP and GRP can thereafter exchange these declarations in order to discuss points for cooperation and coordination and determine ways of preventing armed skirmishes, misunderstandings, and miscommunication during the course of the peace talks,” mentioning the planned talks between the two sides that will begin by August 20 in Oslo, Norway.

It was in July 2015 when Duterte announced the ceasefire with the aim “to immediately stop violence on the ground, restore peace in the communities, and provide enabling environment conducive to the resumption of the peace talks,” ordering police and military units to stop all offensive operations against the rebels, however, things went wrong after NPA fighters were about to attack the government militia in Davao del Norte. Duterte then asked the communist groups to explain the clash until July 28. The following day, he called on the NDF to issue its own unilateral ceasefire giving a deadline of July 30, 5:00 PM. By evening, Duterte repealed the truce and the police and military units returned to their operations.

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