Manila (AFP) – The Philippine government agreed on Sunday to reinstate a ceasefire with the communists behind one of the world’s longest-running insurgencies, despite President Rodrigo Duterte’s earlier threat to step up attacks on the group.
Negotiators for both the government and the communist-led National Democratic Front also agreed to resume collapsed peace talks, a joint statement said.
“The parties shall continue the formal peace talks and reiterate their reaffirmation of all bilateral agreements and statements,” made before the peace talks ended abruptly last month, the statement said, after a meeting in Utrecht, Netherlands.
“In the meantime, the parties agreed to reinstate their respective unilateral ceasefires,” as soon as both sides inform their armed units, the statement added.
But the volatile Duterte angrily called off peace talks in February after guerrillas killed soldiers in a series of attacks.
The joint statement said an NDF negotiator, arrested after talks collapsed, would be released.
The next round of formal talks will be held in April with another round to be held in June, the two sides said.