DILG exec condemns CPP/NPA for rejecting ceasefire during COVID-19 crisis

March 20, 2020

Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Undersecretary and Spokesperson Jonathan Malaya has condemned the CPP-NPA-NDF for its outright rejection of the unilateral ceasefire declared by the President to allow the police and military to focus on their jobs to fight COVID-19.

"Kitang-kita na po ang totoong kulay nila dito. Nagkukunwari lang na nagmamalasakit sa taong-bayan pero kahit sa panahon ng coronavirus, kung saan lahat tayo ay nagsasakripisyo, gusto pa rin nilang tuloy ang giyera laban sa ating mga pulis at sundalo,” he said.

"Lubos na nakakalungkot na ang naging tugon ng CPP-NPA-NDF ay wala pa daw basehan na sila din ay magdeklara ng ceasefire. Lumalabas po sa kanilang aksiyon na wala po talaga silang pakialam o pagmamahal sa ating bansa at mga kababayan especially sa panahon ng krisis at kalamidad," Malaya said in the Public Briefing on COVID-19 organized by the Presidential Communications Operations Office.

In a statement, CPP founder Jose Maria "Joma" Sison, said the unilateral ceasefire declared by President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday is "premature, if not insincere and false." Sison added there was "no clear basis" for the National Democratic Front of the Philippines — the CPP's negotiating arm — 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," Sison said Wednesday.

Malaya explained that since the national and local governments including the police and military are inundated with various challenges due to the COVID-19 crisis, the least that the communists should have done is to not hamper government efforts to serve the people by reciprocating the government’s declaration of the ceasefire.

“How do we expect the police and military to do their jobs properly to man the checkpoints, deliver relief goods to indigent families, maintain peace and order, and so on and so forth if they are always looking over their shoulder for that NPA ambush or attack on construction sites to extort revolutionary taxes?,” he said.

He said that the government’s declaration of ceasefire will give the Philippine National Police (PNP) the opportunity to fully serve the people since Secretary Eduardo Año has also declared a suspension of offensive police operations.

“This act of the CPP-NPA-NDF clearly proves that for them the declaration of a ceasefire is just politics and propaganda. Ceasefires, peace talks are just extensions of the armed struggle and are simply tools to exact political concessions from the government even in the face of the suffering of the Filipino people,” he said.

“It was never about the people. It was always about them and how they will advance their so-called revolution to bring about a communist state in our country. We are fools for expecting the communists to put the interests of the country before their own narrow ideological ambitions. That’s why there’s no use negotiating with terrorists,” he added.

In the event of a communist attack, Malaya said that the PNP and AFP are prepared and will have no resort but to protect themselves. "Handa naman po ang PNP at AFP sa oras ng pag-atake ngunit sana naman po ay ibigay ninyo na po ito sa pamahalaan para patuloy po tayong makapag-focus sa mga hakbang laban sa coronavirus." ###