More residents of remote villages in the northern part of Negros Occidental have denounced the terroristic acts of the Communist Party of the Philippines – New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) during a series of peace rallies and symposiums.
CONDEMNATION. Residents of three villages in Calatrava, Negros Occidental burn the flags of the CPP-NPA during a peace rally in Barangay Minapasuk on Wednesday (Nov. 25, 2020). They also signed the wall of commitment declaring the CPP-NPA and its political wing, the NDF, as persona non-grata in their communities.
On Wednesday, some 60 persons from three barangays in Calatrava joined the rally held at the covered court of Barangay Minapasuk, which was attended by Mayor Marilyn Era.
“Let us all unite and help our community to be free from the CPP-NPA influence. Withdraw whatever support you give to the NPA because we have our government to help and support us, a government that truly looks after its people,” Era said in her message.
The gathering, participated in by residents of Barangay Pantao, Winaswasan, and Minapasuk, started with a forum that addressed the residents’ issues and concerns, and introduced the programs of the government.
The villagers then signed the wall of commitment declaring the CPP-NPA and its political wing, the National Democratic Front (NDF), as persona non-grata in their communities.
They also burned the flag of the communist-terrorist group (CTG) and showed placards calling for an end to the extortion, harassment, and deception of civilians, and the recruitment of minors and indigenous people to the armed struggle.
On November 21, some 170 villagers also joined the peace advocacy symposium in Barangay Gawahon, Victorias City.
They listened to lectures and watched audiovisual presentations on the insurgency, infiltration efforts, and recruitment schemes of the CPP-NPA-NDF.
Ka Joross, a former rebel, talked about his experience in the rebel movement and how he eventually decided to surrender.
The participants also took part in the ceremonial signing of the barangay resolution declaring the CPP-NPA-NDF persona non-grata.
On November 20, a similar activity gathered 84 residents of Barangay Canlusong, who were joined by Mayor Marvin Malacon.
Malacon thanked the Philippine Army troops for their commitment to bring peace to the municipality and reminded his constituents to unite for the progress of their community.
On November 18, some 38 former mass supporters of the CPP-NPA in barangays Tabun-ac and Bandila of Toboso also condemned the CTG’s atrocities.
During a peace rally in Barangay Tabun-ac’s covered court, the participants carried placards with messages denouncing the group as purveyors of useless and meaningless ideology and burned the CPP-NPA-NDF flag.
Mayor Richard Jaojoco enjoined the residents to help the government in protecting their communities.
“For over 50 years, we have been dealing with the problem of insurgency. Do not allow the NPA to manipulate and control you. We, in the government, want to bring the basic services closer to you,” Jaojoco said.
The NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.
Lt. Col. Gerard Alvaran, commanding officer of the 79th Infantry Battalion, in a press statement on Thursday, urged the villagers to be committed and sincere in denouncing the presence of terrorist-rebels.
“Armed struggle is not the key but a big hindrance to attaining peace and development. Help us in encouraging our deceived and misled brothers and sisters to end it and surrender,” Alvaran said. (Nanette Guadalquiver, PNA)