• Palace asks communist rebels to refrain
    from ‘hostile acts’, help in anti-terror fight


    MALACANANG is urging communist rebels to refrain from launching hostile acts and instead help the government in its fight against terrorism as President Rodrigo Duterte has submitted his recommendation to Congress to extend martial law in Mindanao until yearend.

    In a statement, Palace spokesman Ernesto Abella said the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), its armed wing New People’s Army (NPA); and political wing, the National Democratic Front (NDF), should support Duterte’s proposed extension of martial law to stamp out terrorism and violent extremism in Mindanao.

    “To show that the CPP/NPA/NDF is truly in pursuit of peaceful coexistence, they must stand against a common enemy of martial law extension,” Abella said.

    “The Duterte administration has shown in numerous occasions its strong commitment to bring peace. It is time for the CPP/NPA/NDF to reciprocate the government’s gestures of goodwill by ending their extortion and criminal activities, and redirecting their energy to help eradicate terrorism and violent extremism in Mindanao,” he said.

    Abella issued the statement after the CPP ordered the NPA to launch “armed counteractions and offensives” nationwide in response to the proposed martial law extension in Mindanao.

    The CPP claimed that Duterte wanted to extend martial law “in the vain hope of completing the suppression of the armed resistance in Marawi City.”

    “It will prolong the restrictions against civil and political freedom and aggravate violations of people’s democratic rights. It will further suppress the truth to control the narrative to favor the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines),” the CPP said in a statement.

    “Thus, it is imperative for the entire Filipino people to vigorously oppose this plan,” the communist group added.

    On May 23, Duterte issued Proclamation 216 declaring martial law and suspending the privilege of writ of habeas corpus in Mindanao in a bid to quell rebellion of Maute terror group, which attacked Marawi City.

    A week before the validity of the 60-day martial rule in Mindanao ends, Duterte sent a letter to Congress, expressing his intent to extend his proclamation until the end of 2017.

    The President said the “existing rebellion” in Mindanao would not end on July 22, the 60th day in the limit prescribed by the Constitution upon the declaration of martial law.


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