Manila, Philippines (Agence France-Presse - December 23, 1996) The insurgent Communist Party of the Philippines declared a 10-day Christmas cease-fire on Monday and it criticized the government for allegedly sabotaging peace negotiations.
The party's guerrilla organization, the New People's Army, will cease hostilities from December 23 to January 2, 1997, spokesman Gregorio Rosal said in a statement to news agencies here. The government has also declared its own traditional cease-fire over the holidays.
The insurgents suspended peace negotiations with the government last month after the military detained a guerrilla leader, Danilo Borjal, who the rebels said was part of their negotiating panel.
Ramos has been seeking peace agreements with the country's insurgent groups. Such agreements have been sealed with rightist military coup plotters and the main Moslem secessionist group.
The number of communist armed fighters has declined to about 5,000 scattered throughout the country from a high of about 26,000 in the mid-1980s.
Rosal charged in the statement that the government had illegally detained Borjal, and also accused the military and police of killing two peasant organizers on December 8 in the nearby province of Batangas.
Rosal said the rebels were declaring a unilateral ceasefire despite their concerns that the government would use the lull "to intensify its surveillance and intelligence operations on the family and relatives" of its members.