Palace: Reds should show patriotism, extend hand in peace amid coronavirus crisis
MANILA, Philippines – As the government addresses and attends to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) crisis gripping the nation, Malacañang said Friday it is the best time for Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Maria “Joma” Sison to show his patriotism and work for peace, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said.
Sison earlier described President Rodrigo Duterte’s declaration of a unilateral ceasefire “premature.”
“At a time when all Filipinos, regardless of class, religion, or ideology, are united to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the country, Mr. Sison, in these times of national health emergency and calamity, would rather have a hostile environment where Filipinos argue with, if not kill, each other,” Panelo said in a statement.
“This circumstance is a golden opportunity for Mr. Sison to show his patriotism by extending his hands for peace, for the sake of the Filipino people,” he added.
The President on Wednesday declared a ceasefire, ordering all government forces to cease and desist its operations against communist rebels from March 19 to April 15.
Panelo said the ceasefire is part of government’s efforts to keep public health assistance unimpeded in the face of the COVID-19 crisis.
The Philippines is now under a state of calamity due to the rising cases of COVID-19, which originated from China’s Hubei province late last year.
Meanwhile, Luzon has been placed under an enhanced community quarantine which will take effect until midnight of April 13 to limit the public’s movements and prevent the virus’ spread.
Health officials have so far recorded 217 cases of COVID-19 and 17 deaths as of posting time.
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