THE Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Friday, March 20, slammed the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP)-New People’s Army (NPA) for rejecting the unilateral ceasefire declared by President Rodrigo Duterte.
"Kitang-kita na po ang totoong kulay nila dito. Nagkukunwari lang na nagmamalasakit sa taong-bayan pero kahit sa panahon ng coronavirus, kung saan lahat tayo ay nagsasakripisyo, gusto pa rin nilang tuloy ang giyera laban sa ating mga pulis at sundalo,” DILG Undersecretary and spokesperson Jonathan Malaya said.
"Lubos na nakakalungkot na ang naging tugon ng CPP-NPA-NDF ay wala pa daw basehan na sila din ay magdeklara ng ceasefire. Lumalabas po sa kanilang aksiyon na wala po talaga silang pakialam o pagmamahal sa ating bansa at mga kababayan especially sa panahon ng krisis at kalamidad," he added.
Duterte earlier declared the unilateral ceasefire in order for the police and military to focus on efforts to slow the spread of the virus.
DILG Secretary Eduardo Año immediately suspended offensives by the Philippine National Police (PNP), whose members are now manning the border checkpoints as part of the enforcement of the enhanced community quarantine.
In response, CPP founding chairman Jose Maria Sison said there is no clear basis for the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, the CPP's political arm, to reciprocate the declaration and that the declaration was “premature, if not insincere and false.”
"The NDFP is not assured and satisfied that the reciprocal unilateral ceasefires are based on national unity against COVID-19, the appropriate solution of the pandemic as a medical problem and protection of the most vulnerable sectors of the population, including workers, health workers, those with any serious ailments and the political prisoners," Sison said Wednesday.
Under an enhanced community quarantine, public transport systems are suspended, food and health services are regulated, and the people are mandated to stay at home.
Malaya said if the CPP refuses to declare a ceasefire, they should at least not do anything that could hamper the government’s efforts to serve the people amid the fight against Covid-19.
However, in the event that the leftist group launches an attack against the government forces, Malaya said the PNP and the AFP are still ready to defend and protect themselves.
“This act of the CPP-NPA-NDF clearly proves that for them the declaration of a ceasefire is just politics and propaganda. Ceasefires, peace talks are just extensions of the armed struggle and are simply tools to exact political concessions from the government even in the face of the suffering of the Filipino people,” he said.
“It was never about the people. It was always about them and how they will advance their so-called revolution to bring about a communist state in our country. We are fools for expecting the communists to put the interests of the country before their own narrow ideological ambitions. That’s why there’s no use negotiating with terrorists,” he added. (SunStar Philippines)