Members of the New People’s Army in Iligan City surrender to authorities in this March 2019 handout photo from the Western Mindanao Command.
MORE LOCAL government units (LGUs) have declared the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing New People’s Army (NPA) “persona non grata” in their respective communities, according to the military. Three of the most recent declarations were in the following areas: North Cotabato, made by the Provincial Peace and Order Council; Barangay Camanggaan in Sta. Cruz, Ilocos Sur; and Misamis Occidental, covering all its 14 municipalities. Several areas in the Davao Region and in Negros island made the announcements earlier this year. “With the declaration, the CTG (communist terrorist groups) will have a small chance of recruiting our people especially the farmers, the youth, women and the indigenous people to join this terrorist movement,” 102nd Infantry Brigade Commander Brigadier General Bagnus P. Gaerlan, Jr. said in a statement. “Likewise, we are expecting an enhanced cooperation between and among the people in giving information on the whereabouts of these terrorist group,” he added. The persona non grata declarations come amid the national government’s direction towards localized peace talks with the communist movement. — Vince Angelo C. Ferreras