By Jose Maria Sison, NDFP Chief Political Consultant
March 16, 2020, 2210 Manila time
As Duterte admits, it is true that the redeployment of his military and police to urban areas would leave a vacuum and will allow the New People’s Army to increase its tactical offensives in the countryside.
But the NDFP has gotten reports that the concentration of Duterte’s military and police forces is meant not to help in the fight against Covid-19 but to suppress the people’s democratic movement in the urban areas.
In fact Duterte himself gave recently the order to his armed minions to finish off the entire revolutionary movement before 2022.
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 negotiating panel to the NDFP negotiating panel.
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.
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.
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.
In the meantime, the revolutionary forces and the people themselves have to undertake collective efforts to fight the Covid-19 pandemic and at the same time defend themselves against the continuing military assaults under NTF-ELCAC and various operational plans of the Duterte regme.
Duterte has the obligation to rein in his armed minions immediately because they are the ones invading and assaulting the guerrilla fronts which are the territory of the people’s democratic government of workers and peasants in the countryside.###