MANILA, The Philippines -- Communist insurgents in the Philippines have called off their ceasefire with the government, nearly two weeks before it had been due to expire. The move Wednesday (January 2nd) has raised concerns about ongoing peace talks, AFP reported.
The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) said the truce, originally scheduled to run from December 20th to January 15th, ended at noon Wednesday because they believed the government only wanted a truce to remain in place until then.
But President Benigno Aquino's office rejected that claim. Spokesman Edwin Lacierda said the rebels found the extended ceasefire to be "detrimental" to them so they chose to cut it short and blame the government. He added that the government would observe it through January 15th as scheduled.
AFP quoted Southern Philippine military spokesman Lyndon Paniza as saying the CPP had already violated the ceasefire earlier this week on the outskirts of the southern city of Davao, briefly holding two government militiamen and three civilians for intimidation purposes.