CPP ends ceasefire, orders NPA to go back on 'offensive posture'

Rose Carmelle Lacuata, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 30 2020 08:31 PM

MANILA - The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) on Thursday said there would be no extension of its nationwide ceasefire set to end Thursday as it ordered the New People's Army to transition to an offensive posture.

In a statement, the CPP said the government's relentless attacks on the NPA despite the ceasefire made it impossible for the group to further extend its hostilities halt as the country grappled the coronavirus pandemic. 

The communist party had ordered the ceasefire to reciprocate government's ceasefire order as it focused on COVID-19 response. The government side ended the ceasefire on April 15, while the CPP extended its truce until the end of the Luzon lockdown on April 30.

CPP claimed that for the past 36 days, the Armed Force of the Philippines launched at least 36 attacks against the NPA in 23 provinces.

The government, meanwhile, earlier said the rebels had attacked soldiers despite the ceasefire, even those tasked to deliver relief to communities affected by the pandemic. 

The United Nations Security Council earlier called for a 90-day worldwide "humanitarian pause" during the coronavirus pandemic.

Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate also urged both the government and the CPP-NPA to heed the UN's call.

On Monday, President Rodrigo Duterte said he was closing his doors to peace negotiations with the CPP-NPA-NDF (National Democratic Front).

This, after he slammed the communist rebels for a series of attacks by the NPA against government troops.

He warned he "might declare martial law" if the communist rebels continued their attacks on state troops.

Clashes between government troops and suspected NPA rebels killed 3 soldiers in Negros Occidental earlier this month and 2 other soldiers helping distribute cash aid to poor residents in Aurora province last week.