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  • Philippines declares cease-fire with rebels to fight coronavirus

    Published on March 18, 2020

    Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte declared a unilateral cease-fire with communist guerrillas today to focus on fighting the coronavirus threat.

    Duterte ordered the military and police to stop offensives against New People’s Army guerrillas during the cease-fire, which is to start tomorrow and end on April 15.

    Interior Secretary Eduardo Ano ordered the national police to shift to a defensive posture. He urged the Marxist guerrillas to respond with their own cease-fire.

    Duterte launched peace talks with the rebels when he took office in mid-2016. But the negotiations, brokered by the Netherlands, eventually bogged down with both sides accusing the other of continuing to carry out attacks.

    The insurgency has raged for more than half a century, making it one of Asia’s longest-running rebellions.