More and more local government units are flexing their muscles against the New People’s Army as shown by resolutions condemning the rebel group.
According to the data from the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), there were already 272 LGUs that have passed resolutions declaring the NPA persona non grata.
Secretary of Interior and Local Government Eduardo Año, during a press briefing on Wednesday afternoon in The Royal Mandaya Hotel, said that since the implementation of Executive Order 70, the government has taken massive steps in ending the decades-old conflict.
“We already adopted a whole of nation approach along with all national government agencies led by the President,” he said, adding that the LGUs, AFP and the PNP are also supporting the initiative.
As outlined by the strategy, the provincial governor will be the commander of provincial task force to end local communist armed conflict; the mayors will be the commander of their respective municipalities.
“If they don’t perform their mandate, there’s a corresponding sanction and we will replace them with the acting mayor who will then assumed responsibilities for the national task force,” he added.
The fact that 272 LGUs have declared the NPA persona non grata is a manifestation that the strategy is working. “So the President was right in saying that in two years we will finish this (insurgency),” he added.
Earlier, two barangays in Paquibato District have declared the communist NPA persona non grata.
Lawyer Elisa Lapina, focal person of Peace 911, said that several other barangays in Paquibato, the former stronghold of the Maoist rebels, have also rejected support for the NPA.
The official said she talked to the leaders and the people of Colosas and Tapak villages to make sure that the decision was their own and they were not forced or intimidated by the soldiers.
Also, Col. Nolasco Mempin, the commander of the 1003rd Infantry Brigade, welcomed the barangays’ withdrawal of support for the NPA.
“It shows that our communities, through their local leaders, expressed abhorrence to violence, intimidation, and the sufferings caused by the insurgents,” he said.
The declaration came barely five months after Colosas and Tapak were declared insurgency-free, alongside 12 other barangays in Paquibato District.
Based on the record of the Eastern Mindanao Command as of yesterday, there were already 51 tribes and municipalities that declared the NPA persona non grata. Among these are:
President Roxas in Cotabato, Barangay Colosas and Tapak in Paquibato district, Brgy Cagawasan, Kibawe in Bukidnon, Higaonon, Manobo and Banwaon Tribes of Agusan del Norte, Brgy Simbala, Buenavista, Agusan del Norte, Brgy. Anticala, Butuan city, Agusan del sur, Banwaon tribe/ Brgy Balit, San Luis, Agusan del Sur, Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur, Brgy Canaway, Kitcharao, Agusan del Norte, CADT 090 Manobo Tribal chieftains and Council of Elders (Agusan), Bislig, Surigao del Sur, North Cotabato; Rosario, Bunawan, Barobo, San Francisco in Agusan del Sur, Tagbina in Surigao del Sur and Brgy Ilang – ilang in Loreto; Brgy San Pedro in San Luis, Agusan Sur.
Also, Brgy Maharlika in Bislig, Surigao del Sur, Province of Surigao del Sur, Brgy Mampi and Pakwan in Lanuza; Brgy San Roque in Madrid, Brgy Cabangahan in Cantilan, Brgy Pantukan in Carrascal, Surigao del Sur, Magpet North Cotabato, Jose Abad Santos, Davao Occidental, Brgy San Isidro in Tagum city Davao del Norte, Ovu-Manobo tribe of Arakan, Cotabato, Brgy Caburacan; St Peter; and Silae all in Malaybalay, Bukidnon, Brgy Canagaan; Freedom and Dalacutan all in Cabanglasan Bukidnon, Province of Davao Oriental, Brgy Camam- onan, and Gigaquit of Surigao del Norte and Ata – Manobo Tribe of Talaingod, Davao del Norte.
Then, Talaingod in Davao del Norte, Compostela Valley (Davao de Oro), Municipality of Sibagat in Agusan del Sur, Brgy Palma Gil in Talaingod, Davao del Norte, Brgy Kinarum; Bangkal both in Magpet North Cotabato, 21 barangays in Malaybalay Bukidnon, At-a-glance Manobo of Talaingod, Langilan and Kaylawan, Laak in Davao del Norte, and Langilan-Manobo Tribe of Kapalong, Davao del Norte.