Monday, April 20, 2020

Palace to Reds: Why declare ceasefire you can’t follow?

From the Philippine News Agency (Apr 20, 2020): Palace to Reds: Why declare ceasefire you can’t follow? (By Azer Parrocha)

Malacañang on Monday said atrocities committed by the New People’s Army (NPA), the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), show that they are not sincere in declaring a ceasefire during the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) imposed to contain the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made this comment amid the growing recommendations to President Rodrigo Duterte to terminate the ceasefire with the CPP-NPA amid series of violations.

“Identified po ang mga NPA na gumawa niyan. So parang wala pong good faith din itong CPP-NPA (NPA has been identified to be involved in those cases. So, it seems the CPP-NPA is not acting on good faith),” Roque said in a virtual presser.

Roque was referring to the March 29 incident where one soldier and another NPA rebel were reportedly killed during a firefight in Rodriguez, Rizal.

Reports also showed that NPA guerrillas allegedly snatched food packs from Guinmaayohan village officials in Balangiga, Eastern Samar last April 7.

Communist guerillas also reportedly killed Wilson Esta Behing, a member of the Manobo tribe in San Miguel, Surigao del Sur while he was tending his farm and was unarmed on April 14.

“Bagama’t wala pang desisyon ang Presidente, ang tanong natin ay bakit kasi nagdedeklara ng unilateral ceasefire na hindi naman nila sinusunod mismo (Although the President has not decided yet, our question is why declare a unilateral ceasefire when they can’t follow it themselves),” he said.

Roque earlier said it is up to the National Task Force on Ending Local Armed Conflict (NTF-ELAC) to discuss the ceasefire with Duterte

“Ang alam ko, maraming nagre-recommend na huwag na pong ituloy iyan pero hindi pa po nagdedesisyon ang Presidente (What I know is many are recommending not to continue the ceasefire but the President has not made his decision yet),” he said.

Last March 25, the CPP accepted Duterte’s truce offer so law enforcement agencies could focus on curbing the rise in Covid-19 cases.

After initially refusing to reciprocate the ceasefire declared by Duterte, CPP founder Jose Maria Sison announced that they would observe their own truce in response to the call of the United Nations (UN) for an immediate global ceasefire.

The CPP-NPA-NDF (National Democratic Front of the Philippines) is listed as a terrorist organization by the Philippines, United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand.

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