NPA unilateral ceasefire and humanitarian assistance in times of natural disasters
Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) said today that in times of natural disasters, the declaration and implementation of unilateral ceasefire and humanitarian assistance in disaster-stricken areas are part of standard operating procedures (SOP).
The CPP spokesperson Gregorio “Ka Roger” Rosal explained that “This is a matter of policy of the CPP, the New People’s Army (NPA) and the revolutionary movement—whether or not the government and its armed forces issue a similar declaration.”
Rosal made this clarification as he scoffed at AFP chief Gen. Hermogenes Esperon’s “hypocritical declaration of a SOMO (suspension of military operations) and “appeal” to the NPA to do the same “in anticipation” of the wide swath of destruction expected with the arrival of Typhoon Mina in the Minaropa (Mindoro-Marinduque-Romblon-Palawan) region.
“Huwag kang magpaka-plastic, dahil tagos-tagos ang pagkatraydor ng inyong mga SOMO” (Don’t be such a hypocrite, because your treachery shows through), Rosal said, citing, for one, an incident in August last year where, the Bicol-region based 9th Infantry Division forces of the Philippine Army treacherously took advantage of the CPP-NPA’s ceasefire and launched a military offensive against a unit of the NPA within the 15-kilometer zone around Mayon volcano where the National Democratic Front (NDF)-Bicol had declared a unilateral ceasefire for the duration of the disaster situation there.
Despite an AFP-declared SOMO in the Mayon volcano area, the military was not doing any honest-to-goodness relief and evacuation assistance, said Rosal. He said that while pretending to assist the people, the real objective of the AFP’s massive deployment in disaster-striken areas where the NPA operates is to take advantage of the situation and launch attacks against the NPA and its mass base in the area.
Rosal said that upon learning of the presence of an NPA unit helping out in the relief and evacuation of residents affected by volcanic activities in the Mayon volcano area, the 9th IB forces pursued the NPA unit. Rosal narrated that the NPA fighters were compelled to fight back to defend themselves and to be able to slip out of the range of the hostile attack as soon as possible. Rosal recalled that 9 th ID spokesman Lt. Col. Serafin Raymundo even shamelessly justified his unit’s treachery against the NPA, saying the AFP does not respect the NDF’s unilateral ceasefire.
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