Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. (Source: EPA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on August 20 declared an indefinite ceasefire to pave the way for resuming peace negotiations with the leftist insurgent force, which is slated to take place on August 22 in Oslo, Norway.

Talking to the press before leaving for Oslo, President Duterte’s peace adviser Jesus Dureza said the President restored the unilateral ceasefire since 0:00 hour on August 21.

According to Dureza, creating favourable environment via the ceasefire is hoped to help find out a solution for disagreements.

The ceasefire was declared days after the President released 20 political prisoners, who are supposed to participate in the peace talks, including the insurgents’ highest leader Benito Tiamzon and his wife Wilma.

Several hours after the prisoners’ release, the insurgent force also announced unilateral ceasefire for seven days from 0:00 hour on August 21 to 23:59 hours on August 27.

In a statement, the insurgent group expressed its hope that the ceasefire will be observed by both sides as evidence that all are determined to go for negotiations.

Talks between the Philippine government and the leftist insurgent force began in 1986 but no remarkable results were achieved so far.

The force currently has around 4,000 gunmen, a big reduction from 26,000 in the 1980s.

According to estimates from the Filipino government, around 30,000 people have been killed since the revolt began 47 years ago.-VNA