Wednesday, March 25, 2020

AFP hopes for Reds' sincerity in declaring Covid-19 truce

From the Philippine News Agency (Mar 25, 2020): AFP hopes for Reds' sincerity in declaring Covid-19 truce (By Priam Nepomuceno)

Soldiers at a quarantine checkpoint. (Photo courtesy of Philippine Army)

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) welcomed on Wednesday the unilateral ceasefire from March 26 to April 15 declared by the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army (CPP-NPA).

"Sana lang talagang maging sincere na sila (we hope that they will be sincere) not only for the period of Covid-19 but forever," AFP acting spokesperson, Maj. Gen. Ernesto Torres told a media interview.

The CPP-NPA on Tuesday declared the truce as a direct response to calls of UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres for a global ceasefire between warring parties for the common purpose of fighting the Covid-19 pandemic.

The truce is to allow the unhampered and immediate medical, health, economic assistance to the people affected by the disease.

"Let this be a time for them to really reflect, to truly establish lasting peace and eventually sustainable development," Torres said.

He, however, said the AFP has reservations that the ceasefire will lessen fears of attacks while government troops are helping in containing the effects of Covid-19.

This is because the CPP-NPA has a known history of attacking civilian and military targets even if they had declared a truce, Torres added.

The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.

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