In response to the call of the United Nations Secretary General for a global ceasefire between warring parties for the common purpose of fighting the Covid-19 pandemic, the NDFP Negotiating Panel hereby recommends to the NDFP National Council and the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) to issue a unilateral ceasefire declaration from 00:00H of 26 March 2020 to 23:59H of 15 April 2020. (Attached is a copy of the recommended Declaration of Unilateral Ceasefire.)
This recommendation to suspend military offensives against the reactionary armed forces of the GRP would allow the revolutionary movement particularly its revolutionary health committees in the guerrilla zones, and in rural and urban communities, to focus their full attention to fight the spread of Covid-19 in the country, and to further protect and safeguard the people’s health and welfare.
We wish to highlight again the fact that the revolutionary movement has taken the initiative to confront the spread of Covid-19 especially in the areas where the people’s democratic government is present, way ahead of the GRP’s failure to effectively address the crisis early on and despite its continuing blatant disregard of the people’s rights, welfare and actual needs on the ground in the face of the crisis.
Hospitals and community health centers continue to suffer a shortage of doctors, nurses and other essential personnel, testing kits, respirators and medical supplies as simple as face masks, alcohol and medicines. Essential testing for Covid-19 is hijacked by a few politicians, their families and staff, and other so-called very important persons. Hundreds of thousands of workers and farmers, and those in the informal sector affected by the “lockdowns” are still kept in the dark where to get their families’ next meals for many days already.
As in the past, the Duterte government cannot be trusted in any mutual or unilateral ceasefire agreements, as the bombings of communities, harassment, abductions and killings perpetrated by its armed forces continue unabated. Thus, even while respecting and following the unilateral ceasefire order, the New People’s Army and the people’s militia must be alert and act in self-defense against any offensive by hostile forces.
While the revolutionary movement will continue to pool its resources in the fight against Covid-19, it will also remain vigilant against the Duterte regime’s use of the pandemic to further its military repression and armed attacks against the people, and to use emergency powers to further impose fascist measures against the people.#
Fidel V. Agcaoili
NDFP Peace Panel