REJECT NPA. Vice President Sara Duterte calls on people of North Cotabato on Thursday (Sept. 1, 2022) not to support the New People's Army (NPA). Duterte, who graces the Kalivungan Festival in Kidapawan City, tells Cotabateños to enjoy the “experience of having a peaceful province.” (PNA photo by Che Palicte)

KIDAPAWAN CITY, North Cotabato – Vice President Sara Duterte has urged Cotabateños not to support and fall prey to the "lies" of the communist New People's Army (NPA).

Duterte, who graced the highlight of the Kalivungan Festival here Thursday, instead called on Cotabateños to "enjoy the experience of having a peaceful province."

"I remind all of you that we will not give [NPA] a chance. Let us not support the people who will destroy our peace here in the province," she said.

Likewise, she stressed that the people of North Cotabato should not allow anything or anyone to break them.

"We should sustain the gains of the friendships that we have forged despite our diversity and ensure that the next generation of Cotabateños will be able to experience the abundance of our resources, our culture, and the harmonious and peaceful life we have today," Duterte said.

Meanwhile, she lauded Governor Emmylou Taliño-Mendoza and the people of North Cotabato for the success of the Kalivungan festival.

The festival coincides with the celebration of the province’s 108th founding anniversary on the same day.  

"Kalivungan festival is a beautiful opportunity for us to renew and strengthen the unity that has brought us all to where we are today," she said.

Duterte urged the officials and the Cotabateños to further pursue prosperity and ensure that the province "shines brighter as a beautiful destination in Mindanao and the country."

In terms of resiliency, the Vice President also lauded the Cotabateños for overcoming the challenges brought by the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) and natural calamities that hit the province in recent times.

"While we continue to live in the nation in these extraordinary times, we should remind ourselves how courageously we have battled the pandemic, and we are on our way to recovery," Duterte said.

She added: "This should be a collective journey that even when we face challenges and threats we do not falter, stop and surrender to fear, to disappointments, to energies and forces that break our spirit as a nation. Instead, we go in braver, bolder, and stronger because we have each other." (PNA)