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CPP declares nationwide ceasefire amid COVID-19 threat

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) on Tuesday declared a nationwide ceasefire from March 26 until April 15 as the Philippines grapples with a rising number of new coronavirus cases.

The Central Committee of the CPP said the ceasefire is a “gesture towards national unity and based on humanitarian principles in the context of the serious public emergency.”

“The purpose of this unilateral ceasefire is to ensure and facilitate necessary, unhampered and immediate medical, health and economic assistance, support and movement of the people,” they said.

The communist group also demanded the release of all political prisoners in keeping with the context of national unity.

The CPP instructed all its commands to refrain from launching tactical offensives and instead focus on looking after the overall welfare and health of people in both urban and rural areas.

“Active-defense operations shall be undertaken only in the face of clear and imminent danger and actual armed attack by hostile forces,” the committee said.

Communist leader Jose Maria Sison earlier recommended a unilateral ceasefire in response to the United Nations’ call for a "global ceasefire between warring parties" as the world combats the COVID-19 pandemic.

The new coronavirus has so far claimed over 14,000 lives and infected over 332,000 others across the globe. — DVM, GMA News