Militant solons laud Duterte for ceasefire with communist rebels
Militant lawmakers once critical of previous administrations are now on the other side of the fence, praising President Rodrigo Duterte for calling for a unilateral ceasefire with communist rebels during his first State of the Nation Address.
In a press conference on Tuesday, Kabataan Rep. Sarah Elago said the unilateral ceasefire between government troops and Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) must include a pullout of the military in lumad schools long ravaged by militarization.
“While we welcome President Rodrigo Duterte’s pronouncement of a unilateral ceasefire with the CPP-NPA-NDF, we emphasize that the ceasefire will only bring peace to the hearts and minds of the multitudes affected by militarization if government troops will pull out of their schools and communities immediately,” Elago said.
Elago lauded Duterte for his promise during his Sona to address the plight of the lumad.
“We laud the President for including the plight of the lumad in his first Sona. However, what we immediately demand is for troops to pull out of communities in accordance with the ceasefire,” Elago said.
For her part, Gabriela Rep. Emmi de Jesus said Duterte’s call for a ceasefire with the communist rebels was a big leap for long-lasting peace.
De Jesus said she hoped Duterte would release the political prisoners detained during the administrations of former Presidents Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Benigno Aquino III as a confidence-building measure on top of the unilateral ceasefire.
“Ang ipinahayag ni President Duterte na tigil putukan ay magandang paunang hakbang para sa pagsaakatuparan ng usapang pangkapayapaan,” De Jesus said. “Umaasa ang Gabriela na ito ay dagling susundan ng anunsyo para sa pagpapalaya ng mga bilanggong pulitikal na walang katarungang dinakip ng mga rehimeng Arroyo at Aquino.”
Since Duterte promised peace talks with the communist rebels and maintained a good working relationship with the Left, members of the Makabayan bloc in Congress joined the majority bloc after they elected for the bid of winning Speaker Pantaleon “Bebot” Alvarez.
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