Palace condemns NPA clash amid ceasefire
MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang on Sunday condemned the clash on Saturday between the New People’s Army (NPA) and the military, saying it shows “insincerity” by the NPA on the declaration of a ceasefire amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) health crisis.
A soldier and an NPAf fighter reportedly died in the clash in Barangay Puray, Rodriguez, Rizal.
“We strongly condemn in the strongest terms the NPA attack on our soldiers while the latter were doing community work in Barangay Puray, Rodriguez, Rizal in the face of a declaration of ceasefire on both sides and in the midst of an emergency health crisis,” Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement.
“This armed attack by the NPA against our soldiers exposes the insincerity of the former in declaring a ceasefire as well as their blatant disregard of the welfare of the Filipino people they claim to fight for as their armed assault against the soldiers who were doing community work in connection with the government’s battle against COVID-19 have placed the civilians in imminent danger and disrupted the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine in that area,” he added.
President Rodrigo Duterte earlier declared a unilateral ceasefire with the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) which will last until April 15. The NPA is the armed wing of the CPP.
The CPP followed suit, heeding to the recommendation of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and in accordance with the United Nations (UN) request for warring parties all over the world to stop fighting temporarily.
“Let this be a warning to the enemies of the state that the constituted authorities are equipped and ready to repel any and all transgressions of law and crush any armed attack against our soldiers and civilians with ferocity and might,” Panelo said.
The Philippines is under a state of calamity due to COVID-19, while Luzon is under an enhanced community quarantine until midnight of April 13, 2020 to contain the spread of COVID-19.
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