DILG to Reds on ceasefire for COVID-19: Put nation above your own interest
MANILA, Philippines —Apprehension by the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), and by its armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA) on the government’s declaration of a unilateral ceasefire following the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) shows their lack of sympathy for the nation, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) said Thursday.
President Rodrigo Duterte earlier ordered state forces to stop offensive operations against the NPA to allow the government to focus its efforts in containing the spread of COVID-19.
But CPP chair Jose Maria Sison earlier said the rebel movement is still searching for a clear basis before they reciprocate the ceasefire declaration.
“Sana ilagay naman ang national interest above their own interest. Ang buong bansa po ay nasa state of calamity ngunit kung ang tugon ng Kaliwa ay ganito, lumalabas lang po ang kanilang totoong kulay,” Interior Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said in a press briefing aired over state-run PTV.
“Wala po silang pagmamahal sa ating bansa at ang gusto lamang nila ay pabagsakin ang gobyerno kasama na rin ang taumbayan,” he added.
Malaya, however, noted that government forces are prepared to retaliate should communist rebels launch an offensive during the coronavirus crisis.
The President formally terminated peace talks with the rebels in March last year, asking the communist rebels to just “talk to the next President.”
However, in December, Duterte ordered Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III to meet with Sison on what he called his “last card” to attain peace with the communist movement.
Edited by MUF
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