Thursday, December 21, 2006

Arroyo Oks Holiday Truce With Reds

MANILA (Mindanao Examiner / 21 Dec) – Philippine leader Gloria Arroyo approved Thursday a four-day unilateral Christmas truce in military offensive against communist insurgents, but security forces remain in alert for threats of attacks against civilian targets across the country.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines recommended the cease-fire as a yuletide gesture, said General Hermogenes Esperon. He said the truce against the New People’s Army will take December 24 to 25 and December 31 to January 1.

“This (truce) is all in the spirit of the Yuletide season,” he told the Mindanao Examiner.

The AFP celebrated its 71st anniversary on Thursday with Arroyo as guest inside the tightly guarded Camp Emilio Aguinaldo in Quezon City.

Arroyo praised the AFP and soldiers for their loyalty and dedication to service.

Government forces remain in alert for possible attacks by other rebel groups or the Abu Sayyaf, which had been blamed for the spate of terrorism in troubled Mindanao Island in the southern Philippines.

There were no immediate statement from the NPA, but the rebel group traditionally reciprocate government cease-fire during Christmas.

The NPA is fighting for the establishment of a Maoist state in the country.
(Mindanao Examiner)

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