Joma Sison to recommend ceasefire in response to UN call
LUCENA CITY — Top rebel leader Jose Maria “Joma” Sison on Tuesday said that he is now recommending to the communist leadership in the country to observe its own unilateral ceasefire to help in the prevention of the spread of the dreaded coronavirus disease or COVID-19.
Sison, Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder, initially rejected President Rodrigo Duterte’s offer of ceasefire and has made it clear that their truce was not in response to the President’s gesture.
“Mainly and essentially my advice is my response to the call of UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres. The revolutionary forces also need more time and more opportunity in the battle against COVID-19,” he explained in an online interview from Utrecht in The Netherlands.
But he clarified that once the CPP and its armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA) declared a unilateral ceasefire, “there is a caveat that they should remain vigilant and ready for self-defense whenever necessary.”
In his statement issued early Tuesday, Sison said that as chief political consultant, he advised the Negotiating Panel of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) to recommend to its principal, the NDFP National Council, the issuance of a unilateral ceasefire declaration by the Communist Party of the Philippines to the New People’s Army.
This was to “respond to the call of UN secretary general Antonio Guterres for a global ceasefire between warring parties for the common purpose of fighting the Covid-19 pandemic.”
On Monday, Guterres urged warring parties in different parts of the globe to lay down their weapons and join the worldwide battle against the viral disease, which he described as “the common enemy that is now threatening all of humankind.”
Edited by JPV
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