The Daily Manila Shimbun


CPP calls for more attacks amid martial law; gov’t negotiator asks to recall order

May 25, 2017

The Communist Party of the Philippines has ordered its armed wing, New People's Army, to launch attacks in Mindanao and the rest of the country amid the imposition of martial law in southern Philippines. With the CPP's order, government peace panel head Silvestre Bello III demanded the leftist group to "recall its senseless order." In the face of the Duterte administration's martial law declaration in Mindanao, the CPP said in a statement the need to wage revolutionary armed struggle has become clearer. "Thus, the New People’s Army (NPA) must be ready to accelerate the recruitment of new Red fighters as Duterte’s martial law convinces more and more people to take up arms against the rotten system. The Party calls on the NPA to plan and carry out more tactical offensives across Mindanao and the entire archipelago," it said. The CPP accused Duterte that his imposition of martial law in Mindanao was part of his "declared plans to establish himself as a strongman." It vowed to bring up in the peace talks the declaration of martial law and the "worsening human rights abuses" which would come out of it being violations of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL). Asked if the latest CPP's directive would affect the scheduled fifth round of peace talks in the Netherlands on May 27 to June 1, Bello, in a text message to Manila Shimbun said, "Our position is clear. We reaffirm our commitment to pursue the talks to its logical onclusion." Bello is set to leave for the Netherlands on Friday to participate in the peace talks. Bello admitted that the government was "deeply disturbed" by the CPP's "false reading" of Duterte's intention of placing Mindanao under martial law. He defended the president's imposition of martial law in southern Philippines and echoed what Duterte has said that he was not after the NPA, but with the Maute Group and other terrorists in Marawi City and other parts of Mindanao. Duterte issued Proclamation No. 216 declaring a state of martial law and suspending the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus in the whole of Mindanao on May 23 when he was in Russia following the attack of the Maute Group in Marawi City, causing death and damage to property. "He (Duterte), in fact, reiterated his keenness on pursuing peace. We therefore find the CPP directive to the NPA to intensify attacks as totally misplaced borne out of a grossly distorted appreciation of the president’s intention," Bello said in a statement issued on Thursday. "At the very least, it was an insult to the candor and genuineness displayed by the president and the GRP (Government of the Republic of the Philippines) Panel in talking peace. At worse, it betrays the absence of sincerity of the CPP in the negotiating table. Lest it be construed as abetting the criminal and terror acts of the Maute group and a gang of Moro bandits, we put the CPP to task to correct its error and recall its senseless order," Bello stressed. (Celerina Monte/DMS)