Philippine military calls holiday truce against communist insurgents
MANILA (AFP) - The Philippine military on Sunday began a holiday season truce against communist insurgents after the rebels called their own limited ceasefire in typhoon-hit regions, a spokesman said.
The military ceasefire will last from Sunday till January 2, giving soldiers more time to spend with their families and to help victims of Typhoon Bopha which hit the southern Philippines earlier this month, killing more than 1,000.
Military spokesman Colonel Arnulfo Burgos said the ceasefire only covers the communist New People's Army (NPA) and will not extend to "terrorists" like the Al Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf who are active in the southern Philippines.
"We will not launch any offensive operations. But (military) patrols will go on. Checkpoints and other security operations will still continue," he told AFP.