The Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) has issued its unilateral ceasefire declaration in advance of any such declaration by the National Democratic Front of the Philippines. However, from the viewpoint of the NDFP, there is yet no clear basis for the NDFP to reciprocate the aforesaid declaration of the GRP.
There is communication going on between the GRP and NDFP negotiating panels. But there is yet no agreement for reciprocal unilateral ceasefires in connection with certain considerations, requirements and modalities. There has to be catch-up on these matters, if still possible. The ceasefire declaration by the GRP or the Duterte regime is premature, if not insincere and false.
The NDFP is not assured and satisfied that the reciprocal unilateral ceasefires are based on national unity against Covid-19, the appropriate solution of the pandemic as a medical problem and protection of the most vulnerable sectors of the population, including workers, health workers, those with any serious ailments and the political prisoners.
Unless it receives sufficient assurances from the GRP, the NDFP will be inclined to think that the GRP unilateral ceasefire declaration is not sincere and is not intended to invite reciprocation by the NDFP but is meant to be a mere psywar trick.
According to the people and the revolutionary forces in the Philippines, the lack of sincerity of Duterte in seeking a ceasefire with the NDFP is manifested by the following:
1. The militarist lockdown on the whole of Luzon is meant not to fight the Covid-19 pandemic but to intimidate the people, suppress democratic rights, commit human rights violations and prevent the working people from going to their workplaces, and immobilize even the health workers and people who wish to tested and treated for Covid-19 and other serious ailments.
2. The AFP and PNP continue to redtag, abduct and murder social activists, including human rights defenders, in urban areas and to unleash attacks against the people in the guerrilla fronts of the New People’s Army.
Despite all the above, the NDFP continues to hope that the GRP and NDFP negotiating panels come to clear terms on certain considerations, requirements and modalities for the benefit of the people. Promises of Duterte, such as doing a good turn from a good heart, can be believed only as they are realized promptly and according to a definite schedule.###