Five barangays in Toril District have denounced the communist groups during the peace rally at the end of the three-day Peace Building Seminar held in Toril on Sunday.
Officials and residents of barangays Sibulan, Baracatan, Catigan, Tungkalan, and Tibuloy passed a resolution declaring the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP)-New People’s Army (NPA)-NDF (National Democratic Front) as persona non grata in their communities.
On Sunday, the event was highlighted by a peace pact called “Pakang” in which the Bagobo-Tagabawa staged a ritual to signify the end of their ties, including giving of material and financial supports, to the CPP-NPA-NDF by cutting a rattan using a tribal sword.
They also burned a communist flag during the walk peace rally in which they walked for around five kilometers from the Barangay Hall of Barangay Marapangi to the poblacion of Toril.
Toril District administrator Alex Doque, and Bagobo-Tagabawa tribal leader Datu Docris Daug led the mass oath-taking of the 200 former rebels and supporters to publicly denounce support to the communist group as they affirmed allegiance to the government.
1Lt Michael Diaz, the Acting Civil Military Operations officer of 3rd IB, said the peace-building seminar gave awareness to the public on the functions of the local government units and government agencies in relation to the current insurgency situation, particularly in the city’s third district, once a stronghold of the communist movement.
The Philippine Army’s 3rd Infantry Battalion, headed by Lt. Col. Oscar Partuza, spearheaded the three-day event, with the support of line government agencies, the city government and other stakeholders.
During the first day of the seminar, representatives from the different government agencies – Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Health (DOH), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Public Employment Service Office (PESO), Negosyo Center, City Veterinary, City Civil Registrar’s Office and Davao City Police Office (DCPO) – conducted series of lectures to address the issues, concerns and needs of the community.
On the second day, the participants shared experiences and hardships when they were still with the CPP-NPA-NDF organization.
They considered it as the “darkest days” and the “worst nightmare” in the chapter of their lives.
In his message, Partuza extended his gratitude to Mayor Sara Duterte and the city government for the support in the said activity.
He assured the communities that the battalion will continue to support all the projects and activities, not only by the government, but also all of the people of the city to achieve permanent peace and economic growth.