THE Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) condemned the New People's Army (NPA) and its political fronts, the CPP and NDF, for its blatant violation and disregard of the ongoing bilateral ceasefire after the armed communist group suddenly attacked government troops in Rizal.
DILG Undersecretary and Spokesperson Jonathan E. Malaya says the NPA clearly never honors its words and has proven, once again, that it only exists to promote violence and inflict harm on the Filipino people with this attack on Philippine Army soldiers in this critical time of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"We are now in a state of public health emergency and yet the CPP-NPA-NDF has taken advantage of the lull in military operations to initiate an attack on our troops on the ground. Tunay silang mga traydor sa taong bayan!," Malaya says.
At around 3p.m. on March 28, an estimated 30 NPA rebels attacked a group of 18 Philippine Army Community Support Program Team (PACSPT) soldiers who were in Barangay Puray distributing leaflets and relief goods to residents in view of the enhanced community quarantine.
The attack resulted in the death of a soldier and a rebel member who were killed when the government forces fought back.
Malaya says the incident is a clear violation of the ceasefire by the CPP-NPA-NDF during the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) to help fight and control the spread of the dreaded COVID-19 virus.
"Kala ko ba ceasefire? Let us reflect on how this attack clearly shows the desire for violence of the NPA and its political front organizations. Killing ordinary solders doing work to help communities fight COVID-19 is not a political objective; it is violence in its worst form by Communist terrorists!," he explains.
The terrorist group's political leader and founder of the Communist Party of the Philippines Joma Sison declared the ceasefire supposedly "to gain more time and opportunity to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and to look after the health and overall welfare of the people in both urban and rural areas."
"Wala silang isang salita. Their words are just empty rhetorics.
Nakakadagdag lang sila sa mga problema na hinaharap ng ating bansa sa gitna ng krisis na ito," he says.
The government declared a unilateral ceasefire with the communist rebels on March 18 to concentrate all government efforts to fight the coronavirus. The NPA answered with their own on March 25.