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Philippines Christmas Holidays Truce Confusion

Source: News Info (Manila)
Posted: Thursday, December 7, 2006

General Hermogenes Esperon Jr. has indicated that the military will not endorse a Christmas ceasefire with communist New People's Army (NPA) rebels this year.

Last year, President Arroyo declared a four-day unilateral ceasefire from December 24 to 25 and December 31 to January 1 to observe an annual tradition meant to give soldiers and rebels a respite from fighting.

The NPA, which has been waging an insurgency for almost four decades, did not exactly return the gesture but placed its guerillas on a "defensive mode" during the holidays. Malacañang usually relies on the military's recommendation whether to declare a unilateral ceasefire during the Christmas holidays.

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