Rebel killed in clash after Duterte lifts truce: military


Posted at Feb 06 2017 08:56 AM

MANILA - One communist guerrilla was killed as fighting between the rebels and government forces resumed after President Rodrigo Duterte lifted a five-month-long ceasefire, the military said Monday.

The fatality was reported in fighting in Sta. Cruz town, Occidental Mindoro province, Armed Forces spokesman Colonel Edgard Arevalo told DZMM. Mindoro island in the central Philippines is a traditional stronghold of the New People's Army.

The government and rebel sides lifted the ceasefire in separate announcements last week, as negotiations hit a snag on the insurgents' demand to release their detained comrades.

President Rodrigo Duterte said he was suspending negotiations to end one of the world's longest-running Maoist campaigns. He also branded the rebels as "terrorists."

Members of the New People’s Army under the North Central Mindanao Regional Command gathered at Misamis Oriental on December 26, 2016 to celebrate the 48th anniversary of the Communist Party of the Philippines. ABS-CBN News file photo

Arevalo denied the rebels' claim that the military advanced moved into areas of the New People's Army while the ceasefire was in effect.

He cited the death of three soldiers in Malaybalay City, Bukidnon last week, where he accused the rebels of being the first to attack.

Arevalo also accused NPA rebels of maintaining extortion activities despite the ceasefire.