Iloilo town declares NPA as persona non grata

(Photo Courtesy of Iloilo Today)

By: Jennifer P. Rendon

IF THERE’S one town that knows New People’s Army’s sowing of terror too well, it’s Maasin in Iloilo province.

More than two years ago, more than 50 NPA rebels stormed the town on a busy Sunday morning.

Brandishing their high-power firearms in the town proper, they raided the Maasin Police Station on June 18, 2017.

They disarmed the nine on duty policemen and emptied the police stations’ armory.

The policemen’s personal belongings were not spared by the rebels as well.

The dread it caused among residents is more than enough for Maasin town to declare the NPAs as persona non grata.

The declaration was made through Municipal Peace and Order Council Resolution No. 01, Series of 2019 entitled, “Resolution Condemning the Terroristic Acts Relentlessly Committee by the Communist Party of the Philippines New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) Terrorists and Declaring Them as Persona Non Grata in the Municipality of Mason, Iloilo,” dated Aug. 8, 2019.

In passing the resolution, the Maasin town council noted that the CPP-NPA rebels have conducted series of atrocities targeting military, police, civilian and even government and private properties through liquidations, harassments, extortions and recruitment within the municipality.

Further, “the socio-economic advancement of the municipality had been affected due to the series of atrocities conducted by the CPP-NPA communist terrorist that propagate fear to the general public and even potential investors which made a terrible economic implication not only in the municipality but the whole province of Iloilo as a whole.”

The resolution noted that the NPA atrocities are “manifestation of betrayal of achieving peace, thus disrupting the town’s peace and order situation.”

Aside from raiding the town police station in broad daylight, the NPA also ambushed members of the PRO-6 Regional Mobile Force Battalion at Sitio Camansi, Barangay Bolo on Nov 24, 2017.

The ambush resulted in the death of Police Officer 1 (PO1) Joefel Odon.

Maasin is the first municipality in Iloilo to ostracize the NPA.

A few days before that, a village in Igbaras, Iloilo became the first barangay in the province to junk the CPP-NPA and its political wing, National Democratic Front (NDF).

Barangay Barasan, through its Barangay Peace and Order Council, passed Resolution No. 1, Series of 2019 on Aug. 3, 2019 declaring CPP-NPA-NDF as persona non grata.

Persons or groups declared as persona non grata are considered unwelcome or unacceptable in a place.

The barangay also condemned the “atrocities relentlessly committed by the CPP-NPA-NDF since it was established.”

The resolution pointed out that the terrorist group has engaged in guerrilla warfare against government forces, believing armed revolution to be the solution to replace what it considers the current oppressive system.

On May 8, 2019, the town of Cuartero in Capiz also passed a resolution declaring the CPP-NPA-NDF as persona non grata.

Resolution No. 1 series of 2019 passed by the Municipal Peace and Order Council also condemned the rebel group for allegedly instigating atrocities in the area.

The resolution also pointed out that the presence of the terror group threatens the security and development of the municipality and its people.