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Peace adviser says cease-fire is holding

MANILA, Philippines, March 5 (UPI) -- The Philippines' chief peace-process adviser said that despite some exceptions, the cease-fire with rebels in the Mindanao region is holding.

Avelino Razon, Philippines presidential adviser on the peace process, said Thursday that following an outbreak of violence by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front rebel group in August, a cease-fire in the country's southern Mindanao region is "generally" holding, the Philippines government reported.

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There have been sporadic attacks by three militant commanders from the rebel group since August, but Razon said the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police are actively targeting the rebel leaders.

Razon said Thursday the peace process would move forward, echoing Philippines President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who Wednesday welcomed 18 former militants into a societal-reintegration program in exchange for their abandoning militancy.

"I think peace can be attained," Razon said in a statement.

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