MANILA – Anti-communist groups on Monday called on the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) and its allies to set aside ideological differences between the government as a “respect” to efforts to halt the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
League of Parents in the Philippines (LPP) chairperson Remy Rosadio said groups including the Liga Independencia Filipinas (LIF), the League of Youth for Peace Advancement (LYPAD), the Coalition for Peace (COPA) and Hands Off Our Children, alongside mothers of students who were reportedly recruited by various progressive groups, appealed to the communist groups to respect government efforts and activities as the nation grapples with the threat of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Earlier in March, President Rodrigo Duterte has declared a unilateral ceasefire with communist rebels to ensure the effective imposition of the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine.
However, several news reports stated that the communist rebels have violated the ceasefire declaration, which Rosadio called as an act of “insincerity on their part amid of wanting to continue the peace talks.”
Rosadio said the lawlessness of the communist rebels during the enhanced community quarantine “will not help anyone, especially hampering assistance to those people they claim to fight for.”
“In these trying times, people should not admire the attacks of these communists and its allied organizations–despite saying that they’re pro-people, pro-marginalized, but they kept on destroying peoples’ peace and attacking the government troops,” she said.
The health crisis, she said, is a serious matter that the “unity between the government and its people tend to be very crucial at this point.”
“You call the government oppressive, what makes you different anyway? Stop injecting malicious meaning to the government works on the Covid-19,” Rosadio said, adding that peace talks are not anymore relevant when the communist group continuously violate the ceasefire agreement.
“In these times of health crisis and panic, we look for compassion. Why the NPAs can’t give it?” she said.
Rosadio urged the communist groups to let the government provide public health assistance, “instead of putting danger to the lives of the front-liners and the community.”
“Stop your propaganda. Stop deceptions. Stop the lies. Stop recruiting minors and help the government instead,” Rosadio told the rebels.
Meanwhile, Rosadio expressed the anti-communist groups’ support to the national government to stop not only the spread of the Covid-19 but also to address armed conflict in the country.
“We want these atrocities, deceptions, and recruitment of our youths to end. This will only happen if the members of the CPP-NPA-NDF are really serious on their commitment to peace talks,” she said.
President Duterte on Monday night said he will never be ready for another round of peace talks with the NDF.
In a televised public address, Duterte said he lost respect for the CPP since members of its armed wing, the NPA, continue to attack government troops amid the unilateral ceasefire brought about by the pandemic.
The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. (PNA)