Gov’t declaring holiday truce vs Reds
MANILA, Philippines — The government will declare a unilateral suspension of offensive military operations (SOMO) against communist rebels for the Christmas holidays, Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita said Wednesday.
The length and duration of the SOMO will depend on the recommendation of the Department of National Defense (DND) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Ermita told a news conference at the Palace.
“The SOMO is a policy that is being followed by this administration ever since. We might just do that in keeping with the spirit of Christmas,” he said.
An informal meeting between government and rebel peace negotiators in Oslo, Norway last week failed to restart formal talks, which have been stalled since mid-2004..
Ermita said the upcoming Christmas SOMO “has nothing to do whatsoever with the attitude of the other side.”
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