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says Duterte using NPA to justify martial law, cover COVID-19 response failure

Reds condemn Duterte threat to declare martial law anew

/ 06:12 PM April 24, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) said on Friday that President Rodrigo Duterte should stop using the communist rebels to justify his penchant for a martial law rule.

The CPP said in a statement on Friday that Duterte should also refrain from covering up the administration’s failure to address problems brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, by highlighting alleged activities of the New People’s Army (NPA).

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During his address to the nation earlier, Duterte said he may declare martial law if communist rebels’ attacks continue despite the ceasefire agreement and while the government is still preoccupied with the fight against the disease.  This has garnered support from other government officials like former police chief and Senator Panfilo Lacson.

“The Party and Filipino people condemn Duterte’s renewed threats to declare martial law. Again, Duterte is blaming the NPA to cover-up his governments’ failures. This is a classic deflection tactic to draw away the people’s attention from the government’s inept, incompassionate and irresponsible actions in the face of the pandemic,” CPP said.

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“Duterte is using the COVID-19 crisis, one that has blown up because of his government’s military-minded response and failure to conduct mass testing, to carry out agenda of imposing martial law. Duterte’s ultimate aim is to establish his dictatorship, something he has long sought to do,” they added.

Last March 26, CPP issued a ceasefire declaration to allow the government to focus on the rising COVID-19 cases within the country.  However, after that declaration, several supposed skirmishes have occurred between the military and rebel forces.

The Commission on Human Rights earlier said that they would probe the incident, as there are confusing reports about the various attacks.

CPP said that a martial law would not help stop the COVID-19 pandemic, as medical-based solutions like mass testing would be the only logical solution to knowing how many patients have been infected.

“Imposing martial law will not stop the Covid-19 pandemic but will only cause greater hardships on the people. Duterte wants to kill democracy, at a time when democracy is needed to mobilize the people in a mass campaign of screening and testing to detect and isolate the virus and break its chain of transmission,” CPP said.

“The Party condemns Duterte’s further extension of the lockdown in lieu of any decisive push for mass testing,” they added.

As of now, Luzon remains under an enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) as more patients get infected with the latest coronavirus strain.  The Department of Health said that there are now 7,192 patients infected with the coronavirus nationwide, of which 477 have died and 762 have recovered.

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Worldwide, over 2.69 million individuals have been infected, while 190,154 have died from the disease and 733,993 have recovered from it.

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For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.

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TAGS: 2019 Novel Coronavirus, 2019-nCoV, ceasefire declaration, CHR, Commission on Human Rights, Communist Party of the Philippines, coronavirus Philippines, COVID-19, CPP, ECQ, enhanced community quarantine, Government forces, lockdown, Martial law, nCoV update, New People's Army, NPA, Philippine news updates, President Rodrigo Duterte
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