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Reds seriously considering ceasefire offer from Duterte

OSLO -- The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) said it is seriously considering the ceasefire offer of President Rodrigo Duterte. The offer was mentioned at his national television address announcing the Enhanced Community Quarantine that will cover not only Metro Manila but also the entire island of Luzon, Monday, March 16.

“Ceasefire muna tayo,” Duterte said, in an apparent attempt to reach out to the NDFP whose peace talks with the government remains stalled. He also promised that he “will repay you with a good heart.”

The NDFP picked up the offer and issued a statement through its Chief political consultant, Joma Maria Sison, that that it will seriously consider the offer.

“If he is really serious with his offer to have a ceasefire with the NDFP he must make a formal offer through the GRP negotiating panel,” Sison said.

But he said, in his view, the NDFP will demand that the government “realign government spending from excessive military spending to genuine land reform and national industrialization and expand social services, specially public health and education.”

He also said it will also demand that public funds be used for Covid-19 efforts to provide adequate health workers, facilities, equipment and medicines for the purpose.

Sison also added that the government also has an obligation to immediately rein its forces in its attacks against guerilla fronts in order for the group to consider the offer.

Report by Macel Ingles

Photo from National Democratic Front of the Philippines

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