Exploited north Negros villagers withdraw support from CPP-NPA
By Nanette Guadalquiver / Philippine News Agency
BACOLOD CITY – Some 35 residents of Barangay Minapasuk in Calatrava, Negros Occidental, who have been exploited by the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) through the years, have withdrawn their support from the communist-terrorist group.
They gathered during a condemnation rally, which was facilitated by the Philippine Army’s 79th Infantry Battalion (IB), at the village covered court on May 19.
First Lt. Dansan Camua, civil-military operations officer of the 79IB, told the Philippine News Agency on Friday that the residents shared to government troops what they went through under the influence of the CPP-NPA.
Their experiences showed the exploitation perpetrated by the communist-terrorist group, Camua said.
These included requiring the villagers to pay monthly dues of PHP10 to PHP20, and if they refused, they were threatened to be ejected from their place of residence or be killed.
He said the rebels also demand to be provided with raised chickens and crops as food supply.
The villagers were also forced by the communist-terrorists to attend meetings and tasked to do intelligence work or serve as a courier to bring food and firearms to the rebels in the mountains.
He added that the CPP-NPA deceived the villagers into believing that they will eventually become owners of the land they are tilling even if it already belongs to the rightful owner.
During the rally, the villagers raised placards denouncing the communist-terrorist group as purveyors of useless and meaningless ideology.
The villagers also burned the flag of the CPP-NPA and its political wing, the National Democratic Front (NDF), to manifest the withdrawal of their support to the communist movement as they pledged full allegiance to the Philippine government.
Lt. Col. Gerard Alvaran, commanding officer of 79IB, said the victims have finally awakened from the deceptive approach and the recruitment and extortion activities of the CPP-NPA.
“They are now empowered and well-informed, and that will surely prevent the communist-terrorist group’s recovery efforts. Their commitment to withdraw support from the armed group is a bold step towards total eradication of insurgency,” he added.
Marianne Lumanog, the executive assistant of Mayor Marilyn Era, thanked the 79IB, Calatrava Municipal Police Station, and other partner government agencies for helping bring peace to the municipality.
Lumanog urged the residents of Barangay Minapasuk to stand their ground against the evils of insurgency as she informed them about the programs and services of the local government.
“We have resolutions declaring the CPP-NPA-NDF persona non-grata. Do not allow communist-terrorist groups to manipulate and deceive you again. We, in the government, will ensure to bring services and programs for the people. Let us unite and encourage the remaining rebels to return to the fold of law and avail of the government's reintegration program,” she added.
On July 28, 2019, the Municipal Council of Calatrava passed Resolution 2019-095, stating that the northern Negros town “adheres to the principles of peace and order as an indispensable element to the development and progress of the municipality and thus, condemns any unlawful activities of the CPP-NPA as it threatens the economic, social and political stability of the municipality and its people.”
A copy of the resolution was turned over by Era to the 79IB in a ceremony held at the municipal hall grounds on Aug. 19, 2019.
The CPP-NPA, which has marked 52 years of armed struggle, is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. (PNA)