12 killed in Philippine troops’ clash with communist rebels

12 killed in Philippine troops' clash with communist rebels

MANILA, Philippines — Philippine troops clashed with communist rebels in an eastern town, leaving 10 guerrillas and two soldiers dead, military officials said Friday, in violence that comes just days before the resumption of peace talks aimed at ending one of Asia’s longest-running rebellions.

Maj. Gen. Rhoderick Parayno, an army division commander, said the military did not recover the rebels’ bodies but witnesses counted 10 killed among 30 guerrillas encountered by troops Thursday in General Nakar town east of the capital Manila. Two soldiers also died and two more were wounded.

In Manila, nearly 100 members and supporters of the underground Communist Party of the Philippines, most wearing red shirts with red kerchiefs over their faces, marched Friday near the presidential palace in a show of force before Sunday’s resumption of peace talks with the government.

The marchers carried red banners, including one with the party’s hammer and sickle logo during the “lightning rally” as a handful of policemen watched. They urged the people to join the revolution and they chanted “Long Live the New People’s Army,” the party’s military arm.

The rebels and government negotiators are set to resume Norway-brokered peace negotiations in the Netherlands following an escalation last month of deadly clashes and the calling off of separately declared cease-fires.

“Right now, there is no reason to declare a unilateral ceasefire because our President is more interested in obtaining a bilateral ceasefire agreement,” government chief negotiator Silvestre Bello III told reporters. He said both sides have already exchanged drafts containing parameters of the bilateral cease-fire.

A country referee will need to be chosen, with Switzerland, Canada and Australia among those willing to do so, Bello said. Also to be discussed are sensitive issues like the rebels’ collection of “revolutionary taxes,” he added.

Founded in 1968, the rural-based guerrilla group has unsuccessfully tried to negotiate with five Philippine presidents before Duterte. Battle setbacks, surrenders and infighting have weakened the rebel group, which is considered a terrorist organization by the United States and remains a major Philippine security threat.

The Associated Press

Just Posted

Giants invite fans to toss teddy bears at Langley game

The annual Teddy Bear Toss takes place at this Sunday’s home game in the LEC.

#MeToo at work: B.C. women share horrifyingly common sexual assaults

It happens to more people than you might think and impacts women inside and outside of the workplace

Life advice from Cloverdale’s Elfreda Anderson, a 103-year-old world traveller

‘You name it, I’ve been there’ : Elfreda on life, love and always having a suitcase on hand

Man accused of shooting at border agents loses final bid to appeal extradition order

Nathan Hall was arrested in Abbotsford following cross-border manhunt in 2013

Fort restores a musical Christmas tradition this weekend

The Old-Fashioned Musical Christmas is back at the Fort Langley National Historic Site.

VIDEO: Carollers bring festive sounds to Langley City most Fridays

Shoppers will once again be entertained by choirs, musicians and bands this month in McBurney Plaza.

Border officers rally at B.C.’s Peace Arch

CBSA employees tire of ‘lack of respect’

FCC votes along party lines to end ‘net neutrality’

Move rolls back restrictions that keep big providers from blocking services they don’t like

Families enjoy an Aldergrove Christmas

Santa and Mrs Claus along with Moana and other special guests made it a special day

TransLink to look into late-night SkyTrains on weekends

Review follows demand from public, mayors and police to extend services in Metro Vancouver

Police release sketch of man who propositioned girl, 12, for sex at East Vancouver park

It happened on Nov.29 near Princess Avenue and East Pender Street

Family of Vancouver Island RCMP officer killed by drunk driver sues

Lawsuit seeks financial compensation from Kenneth Jacob Fenton

SPCA seizes 74 animals from Barriere property

Constables removed sheep, piglets, chickens and more

Penticton addiction recovery centre plan halted by neighbours

Recovery centre operator said neighbours bought property ‘in haste’

Most Read