The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has condemned the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) for ending its ceasefire declaration against government troops and directs all Philippine National Police (PNP) stations nationwide to be on full alert status even as they are doing humanitarian work and implementing community quarantine across the country.
DILG Secretary Eduardo M. Año said that this act of the communist terrorist group is the final nail in the coffin and is a clear demonstration of their hypocrisy and being anti-peace while the country and the world are in the middle of the deadly coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
“Hindi na talaga maitatago ng mga teroristang komunista na hindi ang kapakanan ng taumbayan ang hangad nila kung hindi ang pgapatay sa mga kapwa-Pilipino, ang patuloy na pananabotahe sa kapayapaan at sa pag-usbong ng ating bansa,” he said on Friday.
“Mantakin niyong sa bigat ng kinakaharap ng bansa dahil sa Covid-19 ay mas pinipili pa ng mga Komunista na isabay ang kanilang walang puwang na panggugulo’t pakikipagbakbakan sa mga sundalo’t pulis. Government forces should be 100 percent focused to humanitarian efforts at this time and yet we now have to face the violence of these communist terrorists,” he said.
The DILG Secretary said that finding the cure against communist terrorism is much harder than finding the cure of Covid-19.
“As the nation and the world face an end of the lockdown, communist terrorism should be among those that must be left behind to the pre-Covid-19 times. Wala talaga silang mabuting naiaambag sa bayan. They are anti-peace and counterproductive to nation-building as they wreak havoc in localities, both urban and rural areas,” he said.
As the CTGs harden their stance and ordered all units of the NPA “to immediately transition from an active defense posture to an offensive posture,” Año is enjoining all local government units (LGUs) to be on guard as well and to ensure the welfare and protection of their constituents.
“Magdadadakdak na naman ang mga CTGs at gagamitin ang mga isyu sa pagharap at pamamahala sa Covid-19 crisis. To the LGUs, be one step ahead. Ipaalam at ipaabot niyo sa inyong constituents ang mga ginagawa at tulong ng lokal at nasyunal na pamahalaan. Nang sa gayun ay hindi masulsulan ng mga komunista ang mga tao. Be transparent, accountable, and swift in responding to the needs of your people, both in general and enhanced community quarantine areas,” he said.
Año characterized as a hoax the statement of the CPP-NPA-NDF that they are exerting effort to facilitate the distribution of relief aid for the masses.
He said that CTGs are in fact hampering the delivery of relief goods and “were never true to their unilateral ceasefire as seen in the death of 26 government forces killed in action between March 15 and April 23 under Covid-19 crisis.”
Responding to the statement of the CPP-NPA-NDF, Año said, “It is not the lockdown that will slide down the country but you communist terrorists who remain to be a menace to local and national peace and order and thus impede progressive efforts of the government and civil society.”
Meanwhile, as the country observes Labor Day, DILG Spokesperson and Undersecretary Jonathan E. Malaya said that the Department will take the lead in implementing Executive Order (EO) No. 110 to institutionalize the Comprehensive Social Benefits Program (CSBP).
The CSBP covers military and police forces who are killed or wounded in legitimate action or operation sanctioned by the State, and their qualified beneficiaries. It also covers uniformed personnel of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP), Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), and the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), as well as members of the Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit (CAFGU) or Active Auxiliary (CAA) of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), who become casualties while in the performance of their respective duties in legitimate military or police operations, and their qualified beneficiaries.
“The issuance of EO 110 institutionalizing the CSBP is very timely as uniformed personnel are among our frontliners against Covid-19. Institutionalizing the CSBP, initiated by the President in 2017, would ensure the continuation of this program as a recognition of the sacrifices of our uniformed forces whether during human-induced or natural disasters and threats,” Malaya said.
The EO states that the CSBP is a mechanism to provide speedy, sustainable, and rationalized social benefits and assistance such as but not limited to special financial assistance, scholarship assistance, social welfare assistance, health and medical care assistance, shelter assistance, and employment assistance.
“The DILG, together with the Department of National Defense (DND), and all other implementing agencies will be further streamlining our rules and regulations so that access to various benefit or assistance of the CSBP will be quickly and efficiently given to beneficiaries,” he said.
The DILG and DND are the lead implementing agencies for the CSBP. The two Departments will coordinate and integrate the efforts of government agencies.