CHR condemns NPA attack in Rizal
MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) on Monday condemned the recent clash between military forces and communist rebels, but said the latter should follow their own ceasefire declaration.
CHR spokesperson Jacqueline de Guia said on Monday that both parties should prioritize human rights and set aside their differences as the country is embattled with the outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
President Rodrigo Duterte offered a truce with communist rebels as the government focuses on mitigating the effects of the latest coronavirus strain. The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) meanwhile issued its own declaration last week, ordering forces to stand down.
“In the midst of a worldwide pandemic, the Commission on Human Rights condemns the said attack, which ultimately caused the loss of lives from both the government and rebels’ side. Two soldiers were also said to have been wounded from the firefight,” De Guia said.
“We call on the communist rebels to adhere to their own ceasefire declaration. And, at all times, we urge both parties to let human rights and the general welfare of all as guide for their conduct, especially at this difficult time that our nation is facing,” she added.
Reports on Sunday said that at least 30 NPA members attacked around 18 soldiers inside Barangay Puray in Rodriguez, Rizal. One Army soldier and another communist fighter died during the clash, while two more soldiers were wounded.
Malacañang has slammed NPA’s latest attacks, saying that it shows insincerity in the part of the rebels as a ceasefire was already declared.
CPP’s ceasefire started from March 26, and will end on April 15.
The government’s military and police forces have been busy of late in manning quarantine checkpoints and implementing the enhanced community quarantine all over Luzon.
As of Monday, health officials said that that there are now 1,546 patients infected with COVID-19, 78 of which have already died while at least 42 have recovered.
Worldwide, 713,258 persons have been confirmed to have the latest coronavirus strain, while 33,658 have died from the disease and 148,707 have recovered from it.
CHR said that the spate of violence does nothing to help ending the COVID-19 problem.
“This atrocity contributes nothing but further danger to the lives of people in the communities and breaks the spirit of declaring ceasefire for a humanitarian cause,” De Guia noted.
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