DILG to PNP: Stop offensives against communist terrorists

Published March 19, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Chito Chavez

Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año has directed the Philippine National Police (PNP) to cease all ongoing and planned offensive police operations against the Communist Terrorist Groups (CTG) in the country.

DILG Secretary Eduardo Año (Photo from Philippine Information Agency / MANILA BULLETIN)
DILG Secretary Eduardo Año (Photo from Philippine Information Agency / MANILA BULLETIN)

The order was issued after President Duterte declared a unilateral ceasefire against the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), New People’s Army and National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) from March 19 to April 15, 2020.

The President made the declaration in the midst of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic which he described as a public health emergency.

Instead of waging offensive moves with the terrorist groups, Año instead asked the PNP to focus all their efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Año welcomed the President’s move citing that attention should be focused mostly on how to contain and prevent the spread of the deadly virus.

During the period of unilateral ceasefire, Año said the PNP shall strictly implement the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon and the prohibition of mass gatherings and other anti-COVID measures in other parts of the country.

However, the PNP will still maintain a defensive stance in all of its counter-terrorism undertakings.

Año stressed that “active defense operations shall only be undertaken in the face of clear and imminent danger and actual armed attack by hostile forces.’’

“The PNP must direct all its efforts in ensuring peace and order in the midst of the coronavirus crisis, including the task of securing entry and exit points, ensuring that people abide by the quarantine and social distancing measures, and assisting local government units in their anti-COVID-19 programs, among others,’’ Año said.