MANILA, Philippines – Communist leader Jose Maria Sison has taken a cue from the United Nations (UN) to agree on a ceasefire with the government at this time of health crisis due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
“As Chief Political Consultant, I am advising the Negotiating Panel of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) to recommend to its principal, the NDFP National Council, the issuance of a unilateral ceasefire declaration by the Communist Party of the Philippines to the New People’s Army in order to respond to the call of UN secretary general Antonio Guterres for a global ceasefire between warring parties for the common purpose of fighting the Covid-19 pandemic,” Sison said in a statement.
The founder of the Communist Party of the Philippines stressed, however, that their decision doesn’t mean they are putting their guards down against potential tactical offensives by government forces.
Prior to the UN’s call for a global ceasefire, President Rodrigo Duterte asked the communist group to agree with a ceasefire to give way for the national government to respond to the COVID-19 crisis.
Malacañang, meanwhile, welcomes the rebel group’s intention to likewise declare a unilateral ceasefire as it is much necessary at this trying times.
“It is about time they join the collective efforts of the nation to fight the spread of the coronavirus,” noted Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo. MNP (with details from Rosalie Coz)
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