AFP resumes combat operations vs. communist rebels

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Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief General Leonard Rey Guerrero. (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 3) — Military troops have been ordered to resume its combat operations against communist insurgents, after the holiday ceasefire expired Tuesday night.

Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief General Leonard Rey Guerrero told reporters Wednesday the order against members of the New Peoples' Army (NPA) is implemented nationwide.

"We have observed there were indeed violations committed by the NPA, as far as the ceasefire is concerned, considering they have also their own unilateral ceasefire," Guerrero explained.

On December 19, 2017 President Rodrigo Duterte declared a unilateral ceasefire with the NPA effective 6 p.m. of December 23, 2017 to 11:59 p.m. of December 26, 3017 and on the same hours from December 30, 2017 to January 2.

In response, the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) declared its own holiday ceasefire, effective 6 p.m. on December 23, 2017 to 6 p.m. on December 26, 2017 and the same hours on December 30, 2017 to January 2.

Meanwhile, Guerrero said the military has done his part in the ceasefire.

"For the part of the AFP naman, we have been, so far, able to implement 'yung ating ceasefire agreement, and we have able to secure at saka protect 'yung communities natin in the duration of the ceasefire," he said.

Duterte issued Proclamation 360 on November 23, 2017, effectively terminating the peace talks for the first time in 18 years. The government cited a rash of NPA attacks to support the President's decision.

On December 5, 2017, Duterte declared the CPP-NPA a terrorist organization. This designation as a terrorist group will be official once approved by a regional trial court, under Human Security Act of 2007.

CNN Philippines' Correspondent David Santos contributed to this report.