CPP to Duterte: Don’t blame NPA for failure in Covid pandemic

Apr. 27, 2020

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – “A classic tactic to draw away the people’s attention from the government’s inept, incompassionate, irresponsible actions in the face of the pandemic.

This is how the Communist Party of the Philippines described President Duterte’s renewed threat to declare Martial Law because of the New People’s Army.

The President made this threat during his media presentation Thursday, April 23, while declaring the extension of the enhanced community quarantine in the National Capital Region, Davao City, and other cities and provinces.

Duterte alleged the NPA attacked soldiers in some instances who were handling or escorting food relief and assistance to rural communities.

“Kaya I am now warning everybody and putting notice sa Armed Forces pati Police, I might declare martial law and there will be no turning back. Kung ano ang martial law na klaseng gagawin ko, akin lang ‘yan. (That is why I am warning everybody and putting a notice on the Armed Forces including the police, I might declare martial law and there will be no turning back. As to what kind of martial law I will be doing, it is up to me),” the President said.

But the CPP, in its statement released Friday, said Duterte has no one else to blame but his administration and task force for mounting criticisms on its handling of the pandemic.

“Duterte is using the Covid-19 crisis, one that has blown up because of his government’s military-minded response and failure to conduct mass testing, to carry out agenda of imposing martial law,” the statement read.

“Imposing martial law will not stop the Covid-19 pandemic but will only cause greater hardships on the people,” the group added, saying “Duterte wants to kill democracy, at a time when democracy is needed.”

AFP ‘pang-press release’

The communist rebels also aired their side on Duterte’s allegations, saying they were on active defense when the Armed Forces attacked them.

This includes the incident in Himamaylan City where the 94th IB clashed with the NPA while a social amelioration program was being conducted by social workers.

Another attack happened in Paquibato District on Wednesday at Sitio Kapihan, Barangay Malabog where two soldiers from the 16th Infantry Battalion were wounded.

“The AFP has conducted pretend and ‘pang-press release’ relief work serve only as a cover for the intensified counterinsurgency operations,” they said.

The communist group said that the AFP violated Duterte’s ceasefire order between March 19 to April 15 by deploying troops in 120 towns and allegedly “mounting at least 24 military offensives and six aerial bombardments”.

The statement mentioned an aerial attack last April 19 in Barangay Gasi in Kiamba, Sarangani, and deployment of helicopters in Aroroy, Masbate, and in Sagada and Besao towns in Mountain Province to drop “surrender leaflets”.

The CPP said that deploying helicopters was a waste of money. “One hour of flight of AFP Huey helicopters costs at least P110,000 which is the equivalent of at least 55 sacks of rice,” they said.

The CPP reiterated that they will stand by their ceasefire order until April 30 and ordered the NPA to continue with its information campaign on Covie-19 in rural areas and conduct assistance.

But it warns the public that the general or modified quarantine is a “creeping nationwide martial law… now effectively under the high-handed control of the military and police.” (davaotoday.com)

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