Parlade slams Bayan Muna's call for humanitarian pause amid COVID-19:"Not after several violations of the ceasefire by the NPAs"

A military official on Friday slammed Bayan Muna Party list Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate for calling out the government and communist rebels to comply with a United Nations Security Council's appeal for a 90-day "humanitarian pause" on world conflicts amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

Southern Luzon Command chief, Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade, Jr.  said that Zarate's plea is hard to believe as the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army (CPP-NPA) rebels continue to attack the government forces and the civilians during the ceasefire as the virus spreads.

"The President has declared a ceasefire at the very start of the ECQ (enhanced community quarantine) to which the AFP complied. Yet your NPA allies continued to attack our forces in Samar, Masbate, Rizal, Quezon, Iloilo, Surigao, Davao, and everywhere," Parlade said

“The NPA website even proudly claims to have killed 38 soldiers during the period.” he said

A unilateral truce was declared by President Rodrigo Duterte from March 19 to April 15 which the rebel groups reciprocated with their own ceasefire declaration effective March 26 to April 15 which was then extended until the 30th.

"What does that tell you? Are these not savages who deserve 'humanitarian pause?' Just yesterday, the same website declared an end to the NPAs unilateral declaration of "ceasefire" and a shift to 'offensive mode' starting May 1. Shall we then believe you when you call for a  '90-day humanitarian pause’?" the military official said

Parlade added that Zarate must be hallucinating when he proposed the 90-day pause.

"Not after several violations of the ceasefire by the NPAs, not only against front-liners but also against IP (Indigenous Peoples) leaders whom they have killed while the troops were busy performing their tasks to enforce the ECQ," he said.

Parlade also finds it odd that Zarate would call on the Commission on Human Rights and United Nations Human Rights Council to conduct an independent investigation on the supposed recent armed encounters between the military and NPA during the ECQ, despite the confirmed cases where the communists vioated a ceasefire.

"But he won't budge, neither will the CHR chair, with the kilIings of non-combatants. We did not hear from both of them when the NPAs grabbed the relief goods intended for the poor in Samar, or when they ambushed government officials distributing SAP (social amelioration program) in Masbate," he added.

The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United Kingdom, the European Union, the United States, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.

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