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Philippine Military Proposes Short Holiday Truce with Communist Rebels

The Philippine military has proposed a short Christmas cease-fire with communist rebels to allow them to visit relatives without fear of attack.

A Philippine military spokesman said Monday the army has asked President Gloria Arroyo to limit the usual holiday truce of at least several days to just two days - Christmas Day and New Year's Day.

The military is recommending a shorter truce this year because it wants more time to deal with a recent surge in attacks by communist guerrillas. The military spokesman says a longer cease-fire would allow rebels to recruit new members and retrain fighters.

If approved, the two-day truce would be one of the shortest ever observed by government forces in the decades-long conflict with communists in the Philippines.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.