Top Philippine communist leaders freed to join peace talks

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.