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Reds to review Duterte’s ceasefire proposal

LUCENA CITY, Quezon, Philippines — Exiled Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Maria “Joma” Sison said the communist insurgents would study the ceasefire proposal of President Rodrigo Duterte amid the outbreak of the dreaded coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the country.

“The offer will be seriously studied by the NDFP (National Democratic Front of the Philippines) and the Communist Party of the Philippines,” Sison said in a statement from Utrecht in the Netherlands on Monday night.

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Sison, however, demanded that the President formally present his ceasefire proposal in writing.

Duterte on Monday called for a truce with the CPP’s armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA) rebels as part of the government efforts to contain the fast-spreading virus.

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But Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana told reporters on Tuesday that the government has no plan to declare a unilateral ceasefire with the communist rebels despite President Duterte’s call for the CPP-NPA to stand down until the COVID-19 crisis in the country is over.

“Operations against the NPA will take a backseat for now as we focus on this COVID-19 crisis nationwide,” he said.

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TAGS: Ceasefire, communist rebels, CPP, Joma Sison, Jose Maria Sison, NPA (New People’s Army), Peace Talks, Rodrigo Duterte
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