81 LGUs in C. Luzon cite Reds persona non grata
CITY OF SAN FERNANDO—Local government units (LGUs) in 81 of 130 towns and cities in Central Luzon have declared the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing, New People’s Army (NPA), persona non grata (unwanted persons) in separate resolutions.
Police Brig. Gen. Joel Napoleon Coronel, Central Luzon police director, reported this as mayors, governors and village officials and members of the Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict met with presidential adviser on the peace process, retired Gen. Carlito Galvez Jr., in Bulacan province on Wednesday.
At least 178 of 3,102 villages in the region’s seven provinces have also been mobilized to help in the peace campaign of President Duterte through Executive Order No. 70, Coronel said in a report.
Mr. Duterte declared the CPP and NPA as terrorist groups in 2017.
Coronel, however, did not disclose the towns, cities and villages participating in the campaign.
The military’s Northern Luzon Command (Nolcom) said 19 towns and 48 villages in northern Luzon, and the provinces of Nueva Ecija and Bulacan had given unwanted status to the CPP and NPA between March and May this year.
In Cagayan province, the military and the police’s Task Force Tala reported the arrest on Tuesday of three women suspected to be high-ranking leaders of the CPP-NPA.
In a statement, Lt. Gen. Ramiro Manuel Rey, the Nolcom commander, described the local communist movement as “discredited and irrelevant,” noting that fighting this was “everybody’s concern.”
The Armed Forces chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Noel Clement, visited the military’s Southern Luzon Command (Solcom) headquarters at Camp Nakar in Lucena City on Thursday morning and met with military officers to discuss security concerns in the region.
Lt. Col. Dennis Cana, the Solcom spokesperson, said records from the Armed Forces of the Philippines showed that 114 NPA rebels had been killed in clashes with government troops around the country this year.
In a statement, the AFP said it was supporting the “Joint Task Force Balik-Loob,” led by the Department of National Defense, to ensure that rebel returnees were given the chance and opportunity to return to mainstream society, and avail of benefits from the government’s Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-Clip).
Rebel returnees receive livelihood, medical, educational, housing and legal assistance from the government through E-Clip. —WITH REPORTS FROM VILLAMOR VISAYA JR. AND DELFIN T. MALLARI JR.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.