Government of the Republic of the Philippines peace panel chairman Silvestre Bello III denounced the order of the Communist Party of the Philippines to the New People’s Army Wednesday to intensify its “revolutionary armed struggle” after President Duterte declared Martial Law in Mindanao due to the threat of the Maute Group.
“We are deeply disturbed that the CPP made a false reading of the intents of President Duterte in placing Mindanao under Martial Law. The circumstances that precipitated, and the condition that warranted such declaration were matters of public knowledge,” Bello said in a statement yesterday.
“There was a need to restore law and order, protect the lives of the citizens, and preserve private and State properties,” Bello explained.
The concurrent Labor Secretary underscored that Duterte’s order to place the island under military rule was triggered by an attack by the extremist Maute Group in Marawi City where they took hostages and burned establishments Tuesday.
The President cut short his official trip to Russia and returned to the country Wednesday afternoon.
“The President, in no uncertain terms, categorically declared he was not after the New People’s Army. He, 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.
(Rocky G. Nazareno and Antonio L. Colina IV)