The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) saying that they’re not going to accept President Rodrigo Duterte’s ceasefire offer as they still need to study it.
On a statement, NDFP’s chief political consultant Jose Maria Sison said that they’re skeptical with Duterte’s offer, saying that they’re receiving reports that the increasing presence of military and police amid the community quarantine period in Luzon may also be used against them and not just against COVID-19.
He cited that Duterte ordered the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to finish off the New People’s Army before his term ends as one of the reasons why they’re being careful of accepting the President’s offer.
However, Sison said that they can still be convinced to have a temporary peace with the government forces if Duterte is going to offer the ceasefire formally.
“But if he is really serious with his offer to have a ceasefire with the NDFP he must make a formal offer through the GRP (Government of the Republic Philippines) negotiating panel to the NDFP negotiating panel,” Sison said.
“The offer will be seriously studied by the NDFP and the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP). It will be related not only to the common fight against Covid-19 but also to the resumption of the peace negotiations,” he added.
Sison also expected that the NDFP is going to demand something to the Philippine government like lessening their spending to their military.
“In my view, the NDFP will certainly demand that the GRP realign government spending from excessive military spending and from rampant corruption in order to pursue genuine land reform and national industrialization and expand social services, especially public health and education,” he said.
“The NDFP will demand that the public funds be poured into the effort to fight Covid-19 so that there will be adequate health workers, facilities, equipment and medicines for the purpose,” he added.
He said that while they’re still not accepting the ceasefire offer of the President, NPA should still be on alert and ready themselves from possible offensive from the AFP.
On Monday, President Duterte made the said offer, explaining that NPA should help the government in fighting COVID-19.
“Ceasefire muna tayo. Mas mabuti pang tumulong muna kayo. I will repay you with a good heart,” he said.