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4-day unilateral ceasefire recommended for Holidays

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By Joel Guinto
Last updated 07:33pm (Mla time) 12/20/2006

A FOUR-day suspension of offensive military operations (SOMO) against communist rebels this Christmas season has been recommended by Military Chief Hermogenes Esperon Jr. to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Esperon said that if the President would approve his “verbal” recommendation, the SOMO would take effect from December 24 to 25 and December 31 to January 1, Esperon said in an interview with reporters in Camp Aguinaldo Wednesday.

“Suspension of offensive military operations has always been our recommendation, but as I said, from where the President is, she has
[been receiving] a lot of other inputs,” Esperon said.

“It [SOMO] has been a yearly tradition as a gesture for the yuletide season,” he added.

In 2005, Malacañang declared a four-day SOMO, from December 24 to 25 and December 31 to January 1.

Although the communist New People’s Army (NPA) did not reciprocate, it had advised troops to be merely on a “defensive” mode during the holidays.

While the SOMO is in effect, Esperon said at least one-third of military forces would be placed on standby.

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Written by joelguinto

Fri+00:002006-12-22T15:11:09+00:00+00:0012b+00:00Fri, 22 Dec 2006 15:11:09 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 pm12

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