Malacañang on ceasefire with NPA: 'Wag na silang umasa



April 27 ------ Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, Jr. on Sunday said communist rebels should not hope for a ceasefire with the government given their recent attacks, but he noted that the final decision will still remain with President Rodrigo Duterte. "Tapos na 'yung ceasefire. 'Yan ay natapos na at hindi pa nare-renew, at sa tingin ko naman, sa patuloy na pag-atake ng NPA ay 'wag na sila umasa siguro, bagamat 'yan ay desisyon pa rin ng Presidente," he said in an interview on GMA Super Radyo dzBB. This comes a day after the Philippine National Police (PNP) said government officials were shot at by unidentified attackers -- supposedly members of the New People's Army -- while they were heading back after distributing assistance to households in Masbate's Monreal town. Police Corporal Romel Bartola was hit in the left side of his head and in his back, while local government unit employee Ricky Canares was shot in the back. Both were rushed to the rural health unit for medical treatment and were in stable condition. "'Yun pa rin ang nakakalungkot dahil galing sila sa ganyang aktibidades, sila ay nagbigay ng proteksyon sa mga taong nagbibigay ng ayuda. 'Yan naman ay hindi dapat. Hindi ko makita kung anong military objective nila sa ganyang pag-atake," said Roque. "Sa akin, hindi ko na babaguhin pa ang sinabi ni Presidente. 'Pag hindi sila tumigil sa pag-atake at pagkuha ng mga ayuda na binibigay ng gobyerno sa taumbayan ay mapipilitan siyang mag-martial law," added Roque. Duterte last week threatened to declare martial law to eradicate the NPA, after the claims from the military that communist rebels blocked the aid intended for Samar amid the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic. Prior to this, Duterte warned leftist groups against staging riots in the face of uncertainties caused by the community quarantines imposed to stop the spread of COVID-19 in the country. "My orders are sa pulis pati military, pati mga barangay na pagkaginulo at nagkaroon ng okasyon na lumaban at ang buhay ninyo ay nalagay sa alanganin, shoot them dead," Duterte said on April 1. After this, Retired Private First Class Winston Ragos -- a survivor of the deadly Mamasapano clash in 2015 -- was shot dead by a policeman for his supposed refusal to follow the cop and allegedly threatened to draw his weapon at a checkpoint. Malacañang has since claimed that the killing of the retired soldier had nothing to do with the orders of Duterte. Source: gmanetwork.com