PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte will not declare a holiday truce with the communist rebels a week before Christmas, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea said yesterday.
Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founding chair Joma Sison said the rebels were ready to declare a holiday truce even after the President had a declared a full-scale war against the New People’s Army (NPA), the armed wing of the CPP.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana earlier said he was not inclined to recommend a unilateral holiday truce with the communist rebels, saying they may use the ceasefire to reinforce their ranks.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo also earlier said that government has yet to decide whether or not to observe a holiday truce with the communist rebels.
“There was no word from him (Duterte),” said Panelo when sought for an update on the issue.
“The recommendation of the Defense Secretary still stands not to declare truce,” he added.
Asked if that is the final Palace stand, he said, “no decision on that.”
But in a text message, Medialdea said the President would not declare a holiday ceasefire with the rebels.
“No,” he replied briefly when asked about the matter.