PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte will leave it up to his defense advisers whether to declare a cease-fire with Maoist rebels during the holiday season, his spokesman said on Monday.

The president trusts the judgment of the Armed Forces and Interior and Local Government department on this, presidential spokesman Salvador S. Panelo said.

“I think both of them are against it and usually the president defers to whatever recommendations those people on the ground give him,” he added.

Earlier this month, Interior Secretary Eduardo M. Año said a cease-fire was least likely to happen this holiday season.

On Sunday, the military and Defense department said they would tighten security against communist rebels, who remained a public threat. The military said it won’t recommend a cease-fire.

Mr. Duterte earlier said he would send an envoy to Europe where communist leader Jose Maria Sison is in self-exile, in a bid to resume peace talks. — Gillian M. Cortez