Año says he will encourage mayors to allow anti-communist tarps
MANILA, Philippines — Interior Secretary Eduardo Año on Thursday said he would encourage local chief executives (LCEs) to allow the display of tarpaulins denouncing communist rebel groups.
“As to the action of [Manila] Mayor Isko Moreno, he must have his own reasons, but I would encourage LCEs to allow it. As I said, these tarpaulins are peaceful expressions of our people,” Año said in a text message when sought for a reaction regarding Moreno’s order to remove tarpaulins that declare the communist groups as not welcome in the National Capital Region.
“If you are not a member of the CPP/NPA/NDF [Communist Party of the Philippines, New People’s Army, and the National Democratic Front], then you have nothing to worry about,” he added.
Previously, tarpaulins and banners declaring CPP-NPA-NDF as persona non grata sprouted along Roxas Boulevard and other areas in Metro Manila.
Moreno said anti-communist banners must be taken down because he wanted to “spread love, not hate, in this time of the pandemic.”
Likewise, the interior chief welcomed the banners against the CPP-NPA-NDF, noting that the communist rebels should return to their “peaceful lives.”
“I believe that these tarpaulins are expressions or manifestations of citizens or certain groups that they are already fed up with abuses and atrocities perpetrated by the CPP/NPA/NDF. I welcome such kind of expression to send the message to the [members] of CPP/NPA/NDF that they are not welcome in the national capital region, just like the constituents of other provinces, cities, and municipalities all over the country did,” he said.
“It’s time for the communist rebels to go back to the fold of the law and start peaceful and productive life,” Año added.
Año previously ordered local government units to declare communist groups as persona non grata, saying the National Task Force to End the Local Communist Armed Conflict is serious about ending the insurgency. [ac]
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