126 local government units (LGUs) in Central Visayas slammed the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA), declaring the branded communist terrorist group as “persona non-grata.”
Out of 136 LGUs in the region, around 126 or an equivalent of 92.6 percent passed resolutions denouncing the atrocities of the CPP-NPA, making them unwelcome in most parts of the region, said Regional Director Leocadio Trovela of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG-7) during the recent 1st Quarter Regional Joint Peace and Security Coordinating Center 7 and Peace, Law Enforcement and Development Support (PLEDS) Cluster Meeting.
In Central Visayas, the province of Negros Oriental remains affected by insurgency as all local legislative councils in the 19 municipalities and six cities each passed a resolution condemning the attacks and killings committed by the rebels.
One of the most unforgettable attacks in the region by the CPP-NPA was the brutal murder of four cops who were tortured in an ambush on July 25, 2019 in Ayungon town, Negros Oriental, which drew public outrage.
Bohol and Siquijor provinces also had 100 percent output, with all LGUs passing respective declarations denouncing the CPP-NPA.
“There all still 10 LGUs in Cebu that need to pass a resolution to declare the CPP-NPA persona non-grata,” said Trovela.
These include the municipalities of Aloguinsan, Argao, Barili, Consolacion, Madridejos, San Remigio, Tabuelan and the cities of Talisay and Danao in Cebu.
Police Regional Office (PRO-7) Regional Director BGen. Albert Ignatius Ferro said he will direct his chiefs of police to personally coordinate with the said LGUs to fast track the passage of their respective resolutions.
Trovela, however, said he is optimistic that by the end of the first semester, all the LGUs would have passed a resolution by then, to make the declaration of persona non-grata 100 percent absolute in Central Visayas against the terrorist organization.
Meanwhile, in response to Pres. Rodrigo Duterte’s Executive Order No. 70 in ending insurgency by the end of his term in 2022, the DILG-7 chief said Negros Oriental, Bohol, and Siquijor have already created their own Provincial Task Force on Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict (ELCAC) while Cebu is now up for signing by Gov. Gwen Garcia.
Major Gen. Eric Vinoya, commander of the 3rd Infantry Division of the Philippine Army based in Capiz, Iloilo, suggested that one significant measurement of commitment by the LGUs is to place a huge tarp in every barangay denouncing the atrocities of the CPP-NPA.
“This is a big impact in our advocacy campaign as the tarp is a visual aid to really denounce the NPA. This will also show us how committed they (LGUs) are,” said Vinoya.
Regional Director Augusto Marquez Jr. of the National Intelligence and Coordinating Agency (NICA-7), on the other hand, concurred to the idea and added that NICA-7 is also monitoring the active support of the LGUs on ending local communist armed conflict.
The body agreed to come up with effective tarp messaging that could be used by all the barangays.
A major highlight of the meeting was the joint signing of the Regional Task Force-ELCAC PLEDS-7 Cluster Implementation Plan. (Fayette C. Riñen, PIA7)