Press Release
August 20, 2016

Why just one week? Recto bats for truce longer than cellphone load expiry

Senate Minority Leader Ralph Recto has urged government to match the Communist Party of the Philippines' (CPP) declaration of a seven-day ceasefire with its own declaration of a "longer ceasefire" because "peace, even if temporary, should have a validity period longer than a cellphone load."

"Any pause in fighting is good news," Recto said. "But the way forward is for the government to respond with its own ceasefire, one that is longer, so that when it is the CPP's turn to respond and they do so positively, then it will have the effect of extending the duration of the truce."

While the one-week ceasefire ordered by the communist leadership " is a good starting point to restart talks" to end one of the world's longest running insurgencies, Recto said it can only be classified as "symbolic."

"What the people want is peace that is sustained. Hopefully, that will be the end result of the peace talks," Recto said.

"In the meantime, let us work that this week-long ceasefire be extended, mutually or by unilateral action by the parties. Okay lang kahit parang cellphone load na may expiry after seven days, ang importante may automatic renewal," he said.

Comparing the search for peace to a mothballed car, "It is hard to start at the beginning, and is off to a slow start. It is still in the road test period. The expectation is for it to go the distance."

But for peace to be on track, Recto urged the government to respond to the CPP's truce announcement with its own, "but for a longer period."

Citing the confidence-boosting moves that it undertook last week which included the release of jailed National Democratic Front (NDF) consultants, Recto expects the military order to its troops to stand down during the period covered by the CPP unilateral ceasefire to be issued soon.

"Parating na 'yan kasi Malacañang had showed that there should be no red tape when it comes to starting talks with the Reds," he said.

In an official statement, the CPP declared a self-imposed truce that would take effect the first minute of August 21 until the last minute of August 27.

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