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Top Philippine communist leaders freed to join peace talks

  • The first batch of communist rebel leaders to be released, from left, Adelberto Silva, Concha Araneta-Bocala and Alan Jasminez, display a hashtag during a news conference following their release on bail Thursday, Aug. 18, 2016, in suburban Quezon city northeast of Manila, Philippines. The communist leadership are seeking the release of more than two dozen rebel leaders whom they claim are members of the negotiating panel as a precondition prior to the Aug. 20-27 peace talks with the Government in Oslo, Norway.(AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

    The first batch of communist rebel leaders to be released, from left, Adelberto Silva, Concha Araneta-Bocala and Alan Jasminez, display a hashtag during a news conference following their release on bail Thursday, Aug. 18, 2016, in suburban Quezon city northeast of Manila, Philippines. The communist leadership are seeking the release of more than two dozen rebel leaders whom they claim are members of the negotiating panel as a precondition prior to the Aug. 20-27 peace talks with the Government in Oslo, Norway.(AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Aug. 11, 2016 file photo, arrested communist rebel leaders Benito, left, and Wilma Tiamzon raise their fists as they await for their bail petition hearing at the Regional Trial Court, Thursday, in Manila, Philippines.   Two top Philippine communist rebel leaders walked out of a maximum security jail Friday, Aug. 19,  to join next week's resumption of Norway-brokered peace talks aimed at ending one of Asia's longest-raging rebellions. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez, File)

    FILE - In this Aug. 11, 2016 file photo, arrested communist rebel leaders Benito, left, and Wilma Tiamzon raise their fists as they await for their bail petition hearing at the Regional Trial Court, Thursday, in Manila, Philippines. Two top Philippine communist rebel leaders walked out of a maximum security jail Friday, Aug. 19, to join next week's resumption of Norway-brokered peace talks aimed at ending one of Asia's longest-raging rebellions. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez, File)  (The Associated Press)

Two top Philippine communist rebel leaders have walked out of a maximum security jail to join next week's resumption of Norway-brokered peace talks aimed at ending one of Asia's longest-raging rebellions.

The Communist Party of the Philippines has welcomed the successive releases of 22 detained rebels who are to join the negotiations in Oslo as consultants, saying the move boosts confidence in President Rodrigo Duterte's determination to find peace.

Top rebel couple Benito and Wilma Tiamzon smiled and raised their fists Friday as they stepped out of detention at the national police headquarters, where their supporters greeted them.

In a news conference after their release, they thanked Duterte for their release and for a restart of talks that will tackle wide-raging reforms in a bid to end the conflict.