LGUs ‘forced’ to declare rebels persona non grata or get no budget share — CPP
MANILA, Philippines — Local government units are being forced to declare communist rebels as persona non grata in their respective localities as these LGUs were threatened not to get proper budget, according to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) on Friday.
This, after the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) earlier said that 1,546 out of 1,715 LGUs nationwide already declared the CPP, as well as members of the New People’s Army (NPA) and the National Democratic Front (NDF) as unwelcome in their areas.
“Ang tanong, bakit hindi pa nila nagawang lahat ng 1,715 na LGU na i-declare na ‘persona non grata’ ang CPP at NPA? Tutal, pinipilit lang naman nila ang mga LGU na pumirma sa template declaration na gawa ng DILG, sa bantang hindi sila mabibigyan ng pabor sa pondo,” the CPP said in a statement.
(The question is, why did the DILG fail to say that all 1,715 LGUs declare the CPP and NPA as persona non grata since they have been forcing them to sign a template declaration, threatening them that they will not be given their proper budget?)
“Karamihan sa mga ito ay bunga lang ng pamimilit at hindi tunay na kusang-loob. Marami nga sa mga naghapag ng resolution ay mga batallion commander pa mismo,” the group added.
(Most of those who signed were only forced and did not sign voluntarily. Most of those who even served the resolution were battalion commanders.)
“Alam namin ito dahil bago sila pumirma, maraming mga local officials sa iba’t ibang prubinsya at mga bayan ang nakipag-ugnayan sa mga lokal na lider ng Partido at NPA at nagpabatid muna na sila ay pipirma. ‘Compliance lang,’ ang sabi nila, para daw hindi sila mapag-initan.”
(We know this for a fact as local officials in provinces and towns have coordinated with local leaders of the party and the NPA. They said that they will sign, saying “It’s just for compliance,” just so they would not get heat.)
The CPP added, citing the 1987 Constitution, that the declaration of persona non grata has “no basis.”
“Katunayan, sinasabi ng ilang ekspertong ligal na taliwas ito sa mga saligang karapatan. May mga kaso nang ginagamit ito sa paglabag sa karapatan ng mga tao na mag-organisa ng kanilang mga samahan,” the CPP said. “May mga peasant organizers ang hinaharang ng mga sundalo sa simpleng dahilan na ‘maka-Kaliwa’ ang kanilang grupo.”
(In fact, legal experts say that this is in contrast to human rights. There are cases that this is being used in violating the rights of the people to organize. There are peasant organizers being blocked by the soldiers just because their group is “left-leaning.”)
The group then cited that LGUs such as Manila and Quezon City who defied and did not declare CPP-NPA-NDF members as persona non grata.
To recall, Quezon City mayor Joy Belmonte denied that the city declared members of the CPP-NPA-NDF as persona non grata.
Meanwhile, Manila mayor Isko Moreno ordered the removal of persona non grata banners against the CPP-NPA-NDF in his city.
“Mas matalino sila kaysa DILG dahil nakikita nila na hindi madadaan sa ganoong mga deklarasyon ang paglutas sa usapin ng armadong tunggalian sa Pilipinas,” the CPP said.
(They are smarter than the DILG because they see that such declarations would not solve the armed conflict in the Philippines.)
“Sa halip nga na makatulong, nakikita nilang lalo pa iyong nakasisira sa tsansang madaan sa negosasyong pangkapayapaan ang paglutas sa rumaragasang gera sibil sa bansa,” the group added.
(Instead of being helpful, they see this as something that would damage the chances of attaining peace in resolving civil conflict in the country.)
INQUIRER.net has reached out to Interior Secretary Eduardo Año for his comment on the CPP’s statement but has yet to get a response as of posting time.
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.