NPA ambush after short-lived ceasefire
MANILA, Philippines - On the day communist guerrillas cut short their holiday truce with the military, they attacked an off-duty militiaman and his wife in Ligao City, Albay, the Army said. The wife, Sarah Jane, was slain in the Wednesday night, January 3, ambush.
Maj Harold Cabunoc, Army spokesman, said militiaman Arnel Yuson and his wife Sarah Jane were on board a motorcycle when they were blocked by at least 3 suspected New People's Army rebels along Sitio Abulan A, Barangay Omaoma, at 7:30 pm Wednesday. Sarah Jane was killed in the attack while Arnel escaped and sought help from a nearby military camp.
Yuson, assigned at the Rapurapu mining site in Rapurapu town, and his wife were on their way home from visiting relatives when the ambush happened.
CPP terminates ceasefire
The ambush occurred hours after the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) declared it was cutting short its ceasefire, which was supposed to end on January 15 yet.
The CPP said that the temporary ceasefire ordered by the communists was issued last December 20 and was to be terminated before midnight on Wednesday, January 2. “This declaration is being issued upon the recommendation of the Negotiating Panel of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines after the failure of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines to comply with the agreement last December 17-18 to extend its own ceasefire order to January 15,” the CPP in its memorandum circulated to NPA units.
The government slammed the rebels' decision, saying they were merely looking for "excuses" to resume their attacks against soldiers.
The prolonged ceasefire -- which could have been the longest between both sides -- was agreed upon by government and rebel representatives during peace talks in The Hague on December 17 and 18.
The peace process, aimed at a political settlement to end Asia's longest insurgency, has dragged for more than two decades. The CPP celebrated its 44th founding anniversary last December 26. - Rappler.com