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AFP Recalls Soldiers Following Ceasefire Declaration with CPP-NPA

AFP Recalls Soldiers Following Ceasefire Declaration with CPP-NPA

Government troops returned to barracks after the ceasefire declaration

Troops of the Philippine government were recalled from their combat operations, day after the ceasefire declaration of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA).

This is confirmed by the official of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), a day before the communist and the government negotiators start the formal talks in Oslo, Norway on August 22.

August 21 Photo 1

On Friday (Aug. 19), the CPP and its armed wing, the NPA declared a 7-day unilateral ceasefire following the temporary release of their members who will take part in 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.

Following this development, the AFP confirmed on Sunday that they started the implementation of the indefinite ceasefire declaration of President Rodrigo Duterte.

In an interview, Philippine Army spokesperson Col. Benjamin Hao said “All combat operations have been cancelled, suspended. All combat operations have already stopped”.

“We are now going back to the barracks. Some field units are still on their way [to barracks]. But definitely we no longer have ongoing combat operations,” Hao added.

On Friday, rebel leaders Benito and Wilma Tiamzon were freed on bail, joining 17 other National Democratic Front (NDF) consultants granted temporary freedom so far to join the peace talks in Norway.

“Our release is a goodwill measure and creates an environment conducive to peace talks. We thank President Rodrigo Duterte for ordering our release,” Benito said in a press briefing.

Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza on Saturday announced that Duterte has declared an indefinite unilateral ceasefire with the CPP-NPA after the communist group issued a seven-day ceasefire order to its units ahead of the resumption of peace talks in Oslo, Norway.

Hao, meanwhile, said the military will continue routine law enforcement operations and patrols to ensure the safety of its bases and the community.

“There is no instruction (from higher authorities) for us to pullout from the communities. The instruction is for us to combat operations so we will stop our combat operations. Focused military operations have corresponding orders so these were already cancelled,” Hao said.

Communist and government negotiators formal talks in Oslo, Norway will end on August 26.

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