Bohol villagers declare NPA 'persona non grata'
By John Rey Saavedra / Philippine News Agency
PERSONA NON GRATA. Left photo shows residents of Barangay Dagohoy in Bilar, Bohol burn flags of communist terrorist groups in a covered court on Sunday (May 9, 2021). Right photo shows the village folks as they pledge allegiance to the government after passing a barangay resolution declaring the NPA as persona non grata. (Contributed photo)
CEBU CITY – Residents in a village of Bilar town in Bohol have declared the atrocities of the New People’s Army (NPA) as unacceptable and asserted their unified efforts to drive away any terrorist group which may disturb their peace.
Mayor Manuel Jayectin of Bilar, a 4th class municipality in Bohol’s 3rd District, on Sunday commended the residents of Barangay Dagohoy for their commitment to isolate their village from the NPA by issuing a resolution declaring communist terrorist groups (CTGs) as "persona non grata".
The initiative came about after the Barangay Peace Council, as witnessed by the municipal government of Bilar, the Philippine National Police (PNP), and the 47th Infantry “Katapatan” Battalion (47IB) of the Philippine Army, voiced their support to the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC).
The council had earlier passed Barangay Resolution No. 14 series of 2021, describing the NPA as threat to the village’s peace and progress.
1st Lt. Elma Grace Abulencia, civil-military operations officer of 47IB, told the Philippine News Agency on Monday that the council members expressed fears that if they will allow the NPA in their area, it would result in extreme poverty and misery to the people.
The village officials, she said, have been awakened by the undesirable impact of NPA’s illegal and unlawful activities that have hindered the continuing production and development of Bohol province.
Spearheaded by the barangay officials, the village folks of Dagohoy took their oath of allegiance to the government to seal their public renunciation of NPA atrocities.
"The government has no other purpose and goal but to establish a more progressive and well developed barangay and that development will only commence through building peace within ourselves and taking it to the community,” a statement from 47IB quoted Jayectin as saying.
The mayor, in his message read by a representative during the activity, vowed to support the villagers’ efforts to sustain peace that would allow progress to reign in the agricultural town with a 17,590 population.
Abulencia said Barangay Dagohoy was previously known as the “advantage areas” of the CTGs that used the village as hub for their recruitment activities and mass organizing.
She said the 47IB deployed its Community Support Program (CSP) Team together with the PNP and the provincial community organizers to ascertain issues and concerns exploited by Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) in agitating the people, inciting the village folks to rise up in arms against the government and inducing them to join the terrorist insurgents.
With the “deepened peace campaign” of the Katapatan Battalion in Bohol, Abulencia said more and more local government units have put their trust in the Army and have been fully supporting efforts to sustain peace and order in the province.
The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. (PNA)