President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday gave communist rebels until Saturday afternoon to explain the ambush of militiamen in Davao del Norte and to reciprocate the unilateral ceasefire declared by the government.
In a series of tweets, GMA News' Ian Cruz said Duterte gave the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) until 5 p.m. on Saturday to answer his demands.
1/2 Pres. Duterte will wait until 5pm Saturday for the CPP-NPA-NDF to declare ceasefire. pic.twitter.com/21RrpYV0KN— Ian Cruz (@_iancruz) July 29, 2016
2/2 If the President doesn't get a word, he will lift the order of ceasefire directed to the Philippine troops @gmanews— Ian Cruz (@_iancruz) July 29, 2016
"I am asking you, are you ready to declare ceasefire or not? I will wait for the declaration alas-singko rin ng hapon bukas. If I don't get the word from you, I will lift the order of ceasefire," Duterte said.
Duterte made the remark while visiting the wake of the slain militiaman at the 60th Infantry Batallion headquarters in Asuncion, Davao del Norte.
Presidential peace adviser Jesus Dureza confirmed this in an interview with Jiggy Manicad on GMA News TV's Quick Response Team on Friday afternoon.
"Hintayin natin kung ano ang magiging sagot ng CPP-NPA sa binigay na oras ng Pangulo para sagutin ang insidente," Dureza said.
In his speech delivered at Camp Guillermo Nakar in Lucena City, Duterte said he will lift the ceasefire if the CPP-NDF-NPA will not explain the ambush that left one militiaman dead and four others wounded.
The ambush was staged Wednesday, two days after Duterte, in his first State of the Nation Address on Monday, declared a unilateral ceasefire with the CPP-NPA-NDF in preparation for the resumption of peace talks in Norway next month. —Trisha Macas/KBK/NB, GMA News