ILOILO City – No member of the Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) stepped forward to sponsor a resolution declaring the Communist Party of the Philippines and New People’s Army (CPP/NPA) persona non grata or unwelcome in this city.
Police Colonel Martin Defensor Jr., director of the Iloilo City Police Office, requested for such a declaration saying the CPP and its armed wing, the NPA, were threats to peace and order and security.
While he admitted there were no immediate threats from the CPP/NPA here, Defensor said “there were local government units in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao that already declared the rebels persona non grata.”
The SP merely “noted” Defensor’s request.
For his part, Councilor Plaridel Nava as floor leader said he did not want to recognize the letter at all.
“Congress could not even declare them as terrorists, why should the city council pass a resolution declaring the CPP/NPA persona non grata,” he said.
In fact, added Nava, there were no reports of CPP/NPA’s presence in Iloilo City.
“There are no incidents here linked to them,” he added.
The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has lauded the growing number of local government units (LGUs) that have declared the CPP/NPA as persona non grata and encouraged others to do the same.
Secretary Eduardo Año said making such declaration is a significant victory for the government’s drive to extinguish communist terrorism and the groups that work behind it.
“It’s a bold move from these LGUs and we commend them for their support to President Duterte and the national government’s efforts to rid our country of these communist-terrorist groups,” Año said.
Among the LGUs which declared the CPP/NPA as persona non grata were the province of Davao Oriental; villages in Surigao Del Norte; Compostela Valley; tribes in North Cotabato; 21 barangays in Malaybalay, Bukidnon; and Municipality of Sibagat, Agusan Del Sur.
The CPP/NPA is also not welcome in the town of Jose Abad Santos in Davao Occidental for their “continued acts of violence, terrorism, violent extremism and other forms of lawlessness, oppression, and harassment of the communist insurgents to the people.”
Barangays in Bukidnon, Negros Oriental and Occidental, with two LGUs from Central Luzon namely Doña Remedios Trinidad, Bulacan and Carrangalan, Nueva Ecija, among others, likewise followed, recently./PN