BREAKING: Duterte declares ceasefire with Reds
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has declared a ceasefire with communist rebels as Luzon is placed under an enhanced community quarantine to combat the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Malacañang said Wednesday.
Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said this will take effect from midnight of Thursday, March 19 until April 15, 2020.
“In view of the imposition of the Enhanced Community Quarantine in Luzon amidst the threat of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the country, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte has decided to declare a unilateral ceasefire against the Communist Party of the Philippines-the New People’s Army-the National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF), effective 00:00H of March 19, 2020 to 24:00H of April 15, 2020,” Panelo said in a statement.
Duterte has already ordered the military and police to cease and desist from carrying out its operations during the said period.
“The President has directed the Department of National Defense (DND) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), together with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP), to cease and desist from carrying out offensive military and police operations during the ceasefire period,” Panelo said.
“Both of these departments shall issue the corresponding orders to implement the declaration of the unilateral ceasefire, including the Suspension of Offensive Military and Police Operations (SOMO),” he added.
Through the ceasefire, Panelo said the government hopes that public health assistance would be unimpeded and that immediate medical attention remains unhampered.
Duterte, in his televised address on Monday, appealed for a ceasefire as the government scrambled to contain the spread of COVID-19.
The Philippines is now under a state of calamity due to the rising cases of COVID-19, which originated from China’s Hubei province late last year.
Health officials have so far recorded 202 cases of COVID-19 in the country. Of the number, 17 have died.
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