Philippine rebels free 2 captives
Philippine communist rebels freed two soldiers after four months of captivity on Friday as a goodwill gesture prior to a possible resumption of peace talks with the government.
Rebel spokesman Jorge Madlos said three more soldiers will be released by January as part of a push to resume the stalled talks, which broke down in 2011 due to disagreements over the release of jailed rebel leaders. The government says it wants to resume talks without conditions.
Madlos spoke to journalists at a rebel camp in southern Surigao del province, where the rebels marked the 46th anniversary of the underground Communist Party of the Philippines.
It’s one of Asia’s longest running rebellions that has stunted rural development and left thousands dead as rebels, who number several thousand fighters, raid police stations, mining companies and agricultural plantations.