2 Quezon island towns now ‘insurgency-free,’ says police

2 NPAs, 49 sympathizers surrender in Quezon


LUCENA CITY — Two island towns in Quezon province have been declared free from the clutches of the communist New People’s Army (NPA) rebels, the provincial police reported in a press release issued Tuesday, Feb. 7.

Colonel Ledon Monte, Quezon police chief, said representatives from the police, military and the local government of the island town of Quezon led by Mayor Juan Escalona signed on Feb. 7 a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that declared the municipality “insurgency-free.”

On Feb. 6, government representatives and Perez town Mayor Charizze Marie Escalona also signed an MOU that declared the locality NPA-free.

Perez and Quezon are on Alabat island in the Pacific Ocean.

Monte said the declaration meant that local government projects and programs “have reached the phase ready for investment and development having zero incidents of terroristic activities (by the NPA).”

“It meets the set of parameters to be declared as an insurgency-free municipality,” Monte explained.

In January, Gumaca was also declared free from the influence of the Maoist guerrillas.

On Dec. 13 last year, Macalelon town in the Bondoc Peninsula became the first NPA-free locality in the province. The Bondoc Peninsula is a known former NPA bailiwick in the Southern Tagalog region.

“We are now witnessing history. Four municipalities in the province were declared insurgency-free,” Monte said.


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