Palace: NPA shouldn’t expect gov’t ceasefire

Published April 26, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Argyll Cyrus Geducos

Malacañang said the New People’s Army (NPA) should not expect the government to declare another unilateral ceasefire following their attacks on uniformed men despite the situation caused by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque in a press briefing in Malacañang on April 20, 2018. (YANCY LIM/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made the statement in an interview over Super Radyo DZBB following reports that the rebel group attacked a police vehicle in Monreal, Masbate Friday afternoon (April 24), leaving a police officer and a local government official wounded.

“Sa tingin ko naman, sa patuloy na pag-atake ng NPA, ‘wag na po silang umasa siguro, bagamat ‘yan pa rin ay desisyon ng ating Presidente,” he said.

(I think, with the continued attacks of the NPA, they shouldn’t expect another ceasefire. However, it’s still up to the President.)

Reports said officials of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and of local government units (LGUs) were heading back after distributing cash aid in a local community when they were shot at by unidentified suspects along the boundary of Barangays Real and Rizal.

Roque lamented that the incident took place while law enforcers were helping deliver cash assistance to Filipinos affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“‘Yan naman po ay hindi rin dapat. Hindi ko makita kung ano ang military objective nila sa ganyang pag-atake,” he said.

(That should not happen. I don’t see what their military objective is with that kind of attack.)

The Palace official reiterated that President Duterte will not hesitate to declare martial law if the NPA will not cease committing crimes.

“‘Pag hindi sila tumigil sa pag-atake at pagkuha ng mga ayuda na binibigay ng gobyerno sa taumbayan, ay mapipilitan siya mag-martial law,” Roque said.

(If the NPA won’t stop attacking our troops and stealing the assistance given by the government for people, the President will be forced to declare martial law.)

In a taped address aired Friday, President Duterte threatened to declare martial law in the country if the “lawlessness” of the NPA continues.

“‘Pag nagpatuloy kayo ng lawlessness niyo (If your lawlessness continues), and it is happening all over the Philippines, maybe I will declare martial law,” he said, renewing his vow to “finish” all members of the communist group before his term ends in 2022.