MANILA, (Pakistan Point News - APP - 20th Augst,2016) - Philippine communist guerrillas will observe a seven-day truce from Sunday to bolster upcoming peace talks hosted by Norway, the rebels said, urging the Manila government to also order a ceasefire. The Communist Party of the Philippines made the move following President Rodrigo Duterte's decision to free its top leaders on Friday. They are set to fly to Oslo for negotiations aimed at ending one of Asia's longest insurgencies.
"We hope that this ceasefire declaration will be reciprocated by the (government) as a show of all-out determination to move forward with peace negotiations," the party said in a statement. The talks begin on Monday with both sides expressing optimism for reaching a political settlement after 30 years of failed negotiations. The government estimates the 47-year-old rebellion has claimed 30,000 lives and impoverished vast swathes of the South East Asian nation. Norway has acted as an intermediary in the talks. Duterte's predecessor Benigno Aquino had ended negotiations in 2013 after rejecting the communists' demand that he free all imprisoned guerrillas.