DILG says Communists showed ''true colors'' by questioning ceasefire
The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Thursday said the Communist Party of the Philippines showed their “true colors” based on their response to the government’s declaration of unilateral ceasefire as the country fights the 2019 coronavirus disease or COVID-19.
In a press briefing, Interior Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said President Rodrigo Duterte declared unilateral ceasefire last Wednesday night so the police and military can 100 percent focus on responding to COVID-19.
“The president declared ceasefire so that our police and military can 100 percent focus on our response to COVID… they are playing an important role now… if our government forces are fighting (against rebels) they cannot focus on responding to our problem on COVID,” Malaya said.
“It’s just saddening that the CPP’s response is there is no bases for them to declare ceasefire… it shows on their action that they do not care on the situation our country is facing,” he added.
Malaya said it appears that the communist rebels are “selfish”.
“The government is here calling for ceasefire and (Interior) secretary (Eduardo) Año issues suspension of offensive police operation but the response of the CPP is there is no condition for them to declare (ceasefire),” he said.
Malaya said the government forces are ready to retaliate if they will be attacked by CPP’s armed wing, the New People’s Army.
“Our forces are ready if ever they will be attacked by the NPA but we hope that they (CPP) will place the national interest above their own interest,” he said.
“The whole country is under state of calamity and if the response of the left is this, it just shows their true color that they do not love our country and they just want to make the government and the Filipino people fall,” Malaya added.
After the declaration of government ceasefire last night, CPP founder Jose Maria Sison said the declaration is "premature, if not insincere and false”.
In a statement, Sison said there is “no clear basis” for the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) to reciprocate the declaration.
"The NDFP is not assured and satisfied that the reciprocal unilateral ceasefires are based on national unity against COVID-19, the appropriate solution of the pandemic as a medical problem and protection of the most vulnerable sectors of the population, including workers, health workers, those with any serious ailments and the political prisoners," he said.
He added unless they receive “sufficient” assurance from the government, the NDFP would be inclined to believe the unilateral ceasefire is a mere "psywar trick," he added.
Sison claimed that the lack of sincerity of President Rodrigo Duterte in seeking a ceasefire with the NDFP is manifested in the "militaristic" Luzon-wide community lockdown.
"The militarist lockdown on the whole of Luzon is meant not to fight the COVID-19 pandemic but to intimidate the people, suppress democratic rights, commit human rights violations and prevent the working people from going to their workplaces, and immobilize even the health workers and people who wish to tested and treated for COVID-19 and serious ailments," he claimed.
"The AFP and PNP continue to redtag, abduct and murder social activists, including human rights defenders, in urban areas and to unleash attacks against the people in the guerrilla fronts of the New People’s Army," he added.
Sison said the NDFP hopes both parties will come up with clearer ceasefire terms. Ella Dionisio/DMS