Philippine Rebels Declare Ceasefire After Guterres' Call For Peace Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 25th March, 2020) Maoist guerrillas in the Philippines have declared a truce in fighting with government forces following the UN chief's call for an "immediate global ceasefire" amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The relevant order was issued by the Communist Party of the Philippines to its armed wing, the New People's Army. It came after UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Monday called for a global cessation of hostilities in light of the pandemic. The government itself announced a unilateral ceasefire back on March 19 to ensure an effective COVID-19 response. The measure will be in place until April 15.

"By way of direct response to the call of UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres for a global ceasefire between warring parties for the common purpose of fighting the Covid-19 pandemic, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) hereby orders all commands and units of the New People's Army (NPA) and the people's militias to observe a nationwide ceasefire that will take effect from 00:00H of 26 March 2020 to 23:59H of 15 April 2020," the Communist Party said late on Tuesday.

The measure aims to ensure "unhampered and immediate medical, health and economic assistance, support and movement of the people brought about by the exigencies of the current Covid-19 worldwide pandemic" both at home and abroad, it added.
As of Tuesday, the Philippines has had a total of 552 COVID-19 cases, including 35 fatalities.

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