3 Davao de Oro towns declare CPP-NPA persona non grata

By Che Palicte

February 24, 2020, 9:23 pm

<p><strong>UNWELCOME.</strong> A graphic produced by the Army's 71st Infantry Battalion shows the declaration of the Communist Party of the Philippines- New People’s Army as persona non grata by three Davao de Oro towns last week. The towns are Mawab, Mabini, and Pantukan.</p>

UNWELCOME. A graphic produced by the Army's 71st Infantry Battalion shows the declaration of the Communist Party of the Philippines- New People’s Army as persona non grata by three Davao de Oro towns last week. The towns are Mawab, Mabini, and Pantukan.

DAVAO CITY – Three municipalities in Davao de Oro have declared the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) as persona non grata, the Army's 71st Infantry Battalion (71IB) said Monday.

All barangays in Mawab town declared the communist rebel movement "unwelcome" last Tuesday (February 18), followed by Mabini town on Wednesday (February 19), and in Pantukan on Friday (February 21).

2Lt.  Kim Carlos, 71IB civic-military operations officer, said Monday the rejection of CPP-NPA by all the villages of the three towns showed that the locals are "fed up with the presence of the rebel group in their communities."

“The residents in the three municipalities declared that CPP-NPA is no longer welcome in their localities. It implies that they will no longer support financially, logistically as well as on the human resource,” Carlos told the Philippine News Agency (PNA).

He also noted the declaration's impact on the government's campaign to end local communist armed conflict, pointing out that the rebel group mainly depends on the support of mass bases.

During the declaration ceremonies, Carlos said the barangay leaders handed over their respective barangay resolutions declaring the CPP-NPA as persona non-grata to their municipal officials, which were then turned over to Lt. Col. Sonny Gonzales, commander of 71IB.

“The declaration of persona non grata adheres to the call of President Rodrigo Duterte to end local armed conflicts through the whole-of-nation approach. By declaring the Reds unwelcome in all the barangays of the said municipalities, residents took part in the campaign as they made a stand that they no longer welcome these insurgents in their communities nor support them in any form,” Gonzales said.

In Mawab town, Mayor Ruperto Gonzaga III said it was "the right time to end the insurgency," noting that the CPP-NPA has been waging war against the government for 51 years.

Pantukan Mayor Roberto Yugo called on residents to "unite and stand with President Duterte’s call" to attain lasting peace.

“Gone are the days that we leave the work on ending insurgency to the uniformed men. It is our duty as public servants and as residents of Pantukan to end the insurgency," Yugo said.

On the other hand, Mabini Mayor Reynaldo Dayanghirang, whose town was the first to activate Municipal Tasked Force to End of Local Armed Conflict (MTF-ELCAC) and deployed Retooled Community Support Program (RCSP) last year, said they aim to eliminate potential security threats from the insurgents by "addressing social issues and delivering basic services, especially in conflict-affected areas."

“I urge everyone to be committed and sincere in not welcoming these rebels, for this is an opportune time to do this, more so that we have leaders in public office who have a strong will in putting an end to insurgency,” Dayanghirang said.

The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. (PNA)

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