Solon’s support for UN’s call for 90-day humanitarian pause a ‘cheap pitch’ – AFP official

Published May 1, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Ben R. Rosario

Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr., arch-critic of leftist activists and progressive lawmakers, on Friday chided House Deputy Minority Leader and Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate for declaring support for the United Nation’s call for a 90-day humanitarian pause on conflicts as the world faced the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic,.

Parlade described as a “cheap pitch” the lawmaker’s statement of support for the UN appeal, aying that Zarate “must be hallucinating”.

Armed Forces of the Philippines (MANILA BULLETIN)

The AFP official has been an outspoken critic of the Makabayan bloc, composed of six progressive solons headed by Zarate.

He said the group is allegedly an ally of the New People’s Army that led armed attacks at government forces in Samar, Masbate, Rizal, Quezon, Iloilo, Surigao and Davao region, notwithstanding the COVID-19 situation that has gripped the nation.

In a statement the other day, Zarate urged government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines to support the UN Security Council’s call for a 90-day respite from armed conflicts in order for governments and their constituents to address the worldwide COVID-19 crisis.

“Being a member country of the UN, the Duterte administration should readily support this call, especially that the country is still reeling from the grave effects of the COVID-19 crisis,” Zarate stated.

Parlade found Zarate’s statement incredulous as he noted that the NPA had allegedly ignored calls for a ceasefire.

Last week, President Duterte vowed to declare martial law in an apparent exasperation over the continued communist attacks on the military, including those transporting relief goods to areas placed under enhanced community quarantine due to the COVID-19 threat.

“We welcome this but it is easier said than done. Not after several violations of the ceasefire by the NPAs, not only against frontliners, but also against IP leaders whom they have killed while the troops were busy performing their tasks to enforce to ECQ,” said Parlade.

The military official said the NPA had even boasted on its website that 38 soldiers have been killed during the ECQ period.

“Just yesterday, the same website declared an end to the NPAs unilateral declaration of ‘ceasefire’ and a shift to ‘offensive mode’ starting May 1. Shall we then believe you when you call for a 90-day humanitarian pause?” the general asked.