The New People's Army (NPA) on Tuesday said it was waiting for instructions from the communist leadership regarding the reinstatement of a unilateral ceasefire, as the Philippine government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) resumed peace negotiations.
"Until then, the NPA is ready to confront and counter the offensives of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP)," NPA spokesperson Jorge "Ka Oris" Madlos said in a statement.
The NPA also called on President Rodrigo Duterte to "restrain" the AFP, as armed clashes between the NPA and government forces continued around the country.
According to Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Secretary Jesus Dureza, the unilateral ceasefire had yet to take effect as of Tuesday, because the government and NDFP have not decided on a date for the cessation of hostilities.
Both sides' commanders also had yet to inform their ground forces, he said.
Duterte on Monday said he just gave orders for the government panel "to start talking" with communist rebels.
"I just gave my orders to start talking. There is no concrete proposal, there’s not even a list of what should be taken up…As a Filipino, I'm still interested in preventing the slaughter of a Filipino by a Filipino," he said.
The Philippine National Police (PNP) meanwhile said it was in “active defense mode.”