|New People's Army (NPA) "Soldiers"|
By Mayen Jaymalin
MANILA, Philippines - The government yesterday called on the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) to immediately recall its “senseless” order for an intensified offensive against the military.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, who is also chair of the government peace panel negotiating with the communist-led National Democratic Front (NDF), said the CPP’s order for an intensified offensive could be interpreted as support for the terrorist activities of the Maute group in Marawi City.
“Lest it be construed as abetting the criminal and terror acts of Maute group and a gang of Moro bandits, we put the CPP to task to correct its error and recall its senseless order,” Bello said in a statement.
By opposing the declaration of martial law and ordering an intensified attack, Bello said the CPP showed lack of sincerity in the peace talks with the government.
Bello stressed that President Duterte’s declaration of martial law is not in any way intended to stamp out the CPP.
“The President, in no uncertain terms, categorically declared he was not after the New People’s Army (NPA). He, in fact, reiterated his keenness in pursuing peace,” Bello said.
He said the conditions that prompted the declaration of martial law were public knowledge.
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