Reds’ refusal to declare truce shows lack of concern on PH health crisis, says gov’t

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 19 2020 03:50 PM

MANILA - The communist movement's refusal to declare a truce with the government in light of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak shows that they are not concerned about the public health crisis the nation is facing, a government official said Thursday.

The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) on Wednesday said the underground communist movement sees no clear basis yet to reciprocate the unilateral ceasefire President Rodrigo Duterte declared Wednesday as government focused resources towards containing the outbreak. 

"Ang buong bansa po ay nasa state of national calamity ngunit ang tugon po ng kaliwa ay ganito. Lumalabas lang po ang tunay nilang kulay," Department of the Interior and Local Government Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said in a televised press briefing.

(The whole country is under a state of calamity and yet they respond like this. It only shows their true colors.)

“Lumalabas po sa kanilang mga aksyon na wala po talaga silang pakialam sa sitwasyon na kinahaharap ng ating bansa. Lumalabas po na makasarili lang sila,” he said.

(Their actions show that they don’t care about our country’s situation. It shows how selfish they are.)

Exiled communist leader Jose Maria Sison earlier said the communist movement doubts the sincerity of the government's ceasefire declaration. 

"The NDFP is not assured and satisfied that the reciprocal unilateral ceasefires are based on national unity against [coronavirus disease 2019] (COVID-19)," he said. 

“Unless it receives sufficient assurances from the GRP (Philippine government), the NDFP will be inclined to think that the GRP unilateral ceasefire declaration is not sincere and is not intended to invite reciprocation by the NDFP but is meant to be a mere psywar trick," he added.

President Rodrigo Duterte’s unilateral ceasefire with communist rebels took effect Thursday, March 19, and will last until April 15, 2020 as state forces were sent to man borders and enforce guidelines of the Luzon-wide lockdown.