Filipino rebels declare Christmas truce despite bogged talks

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Communist guerrillas in the Philippines have declared a Christmas truce after the government made a similar overture.

A New People's Army spokesman said in a statement posted on a rebel website Friday that the Maoist guerrillas would hold their fire from Dec. 23 to Dec. 26 and from Dec. 30 to Jan. 2. The Philippine military's unilateral ceasefire falls on the same period.

Despite their separately declared ceasefire, both sides have ordered their forces to brace for possible attacks.

The move comes despite President Rodrigo Duterte halting talks with the guerrillas in November due to continuing rebel attack. He also declared them as terrorists in the first step of a legal process to outlaw the insurgent organization.