Attacks by Reds after truce declared ‘isolated,’ not meant to violate ceasefire, says Sison
By: Delfin T. Mallari Jr. – @inquirerdotnet
Philippine Daily Inquirer / 08:53 PM December 23, 2019
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LUCENA CITY – Communist party founder Jose Maria “Joma” Sison on Monday sought to play down two attacks by New People’s Army rebels on government targets, saying these were “isolated” cases that were not “deliberate” violations of a truce between communist rebels and the military.
The attacks were reported to have taken place after the rebels declared a ceasefire which was reciprocated by the military and approved by President Rodrigo Duterte.
“I presume that there are no deliberate violations of the ceasefire agreement,” said Sison in an e-mail exchange with Inquirer from his base in Utrecht.
The attacks, Sison said, were “only two isolated incidents in places distant from each other in the entire archipelago.”
These “do not mean willful and systematic violations of ceasefire,” he said on Monday (Dec. 23).
He said the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) is still awaiting an NPA report on the clashes.
Sison explained said the NPA ceasefire was supposed to take effect only upon the release by the government of orders for the police and military to cease operations against NPA rebels.
Reports on the release of the orders “came later and must have reached certain NPA units late.”
“Another possibility is that the movement of the police or troops was seen as offensive,” Sison said.
Edited by TSB