By Argyll Cyrus Geducos
Malacañang slammed Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Ma. Sison for doubting the unilateral ceasefire declared by President Duterte, saying Sison should instead use the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic as an opportunity to show his patriotism.
“This circumstance is a golden opportunity for Mr. Sison to show his patriotism by extending his hands for peace, for the sake of the Filipino people,” Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said in a statement.
Panelo called out Sison for calling the unilateral ceasefire “premature, insincere and false” instead of just welcoming it.
“Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founding chairperson Jose Ma. Sison is again engaged in a ranting nonsense that only highlights his perverted vision of reality as well as his insensitivity to the present grave peril that the Filipino people he professed to fight for face,” he said.
“At a time when all Filipinos, regardless of class, religion, or ideology, are united to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease in the country, Mr. Sison, in these times of national health emergency and calamity, would rather have a hostile environment where Filipinos argue with, if not kill, each other,” he added.
According to Panelo, Sison should take the pandemic as an opportunity to show his love for the country, especially with the rising number of positive cases.
The number of COVID-19 cases in the Philippines rose to 217 Thursday.
On Wednesday, President Duterte declared a unilateral ceasefire against the CPP-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) so the government forces can focus on helping deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.
The unilateral ceasefire is effective from March 19 to April 15.
Duterte has directed the Departments of National Defense (DND) and the Interior and Local Government (DILG), together with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP), to cease and desist from carrying out offensive military and police operations during the ceasefire period.
Earlier. on Monday, President Duterte asked the CPP-NPA-NDF to practice “social distancing” with the government as the country deals with the threat of COVID-19. He assured the rebels that he will repay them if they would take part in the fight against the disease.