Malacañang slammed Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founding chairman Jose Maria Sison’s “insensitivity” after they refused to reciprocate the government’s ceasefire declaration amid the public health emergency over the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
President Rodrigo Duterte declared on Wednesday a unilateral ceasefire, which took effect on March 19 and will last until April 15.
However, Sison said the government’s move was “premature, if not insincere and false.”
“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,” presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said.
“…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,” Panelo said Friday.
“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,” Panelo said.
Duterte placed Luzon under enhanced community quarantine to curb the spread of the virus.
The COVID-19 pandemic is exiled communist leader Jose Maria Sison’s chance to prove his patriotism, Malacañang said Friday as it criticized his doubt of the government’s motives for declaring a unilateral truce due to the public health crisis.
Sison however responded by saying that rebels are not assured of the government’s ceasefire declaration.
“The NDFP (National Democratic Front of the Philippines) is not assured and satisfied that the reciprocal unilateral ceasefires are based on national unity against [coronavirus disease 2019] (COVID-19),” he said.
“Unless it receives sufficient assurances from the GRP, the NDFP will be inclined to think that the GRP unilateral ceasefire declaration is not sincere and is not intended to invite reciprocation by the NDFP but is meant to be a mere psywar trick,” Sison said./Stacy Ang