Former members of the New Peoples’ Army (NPA) spearheaded an activity dubbed “Call for Peace” at the Sta. Monica covered gymnasium on Tuesday night, to condemn rebel group as it marked its 53rd year anniversary.
The participants included representatives from Western Command, Palawan Police Provincial Office, Puerto Princesa City Police Office, Pinag-isang Lakas ng Kabataang Leader ng Palawan (PIGLAS-Palawan), ROTC cadets from Western Philippines University and other non-government organizations.
A candle lighting ceremony was held to commemorate and honor those who sacrificed and lost their lives in the anti insurgency drive. KADRE members also burned a flag of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), and Hukbo ng Bayan, along with banners of party list groups and other organizations they claim to have alleged ties with the CPP.
Jerwin Castigador, head of the group Kapatiran ng mga Dating Rebelde (KADRE) said the activity calla for an end to the atrocities being done by the NPA on the occasion of its 53rd anniversary of establishment.
“Sa loob ng 53 taon ng pakikipaglaban sa isang digmaan na walang katururan, hinihiling ko na maglaan tayo ng kaunting katahimikan ang mga taong matagal nang namayapa dahil sa naganap na digmaan o terorismo sa ating bayan upang matahimik na ang kanilang kaluluwa kung saan man sila naroroon, at para magbigay ng ganap na katahimikan. Nagkaroon tayo ng simbolikong pagsisindi ng kandila upang bigyang pagpupugay ang mga tao na nag-alay ng kanilang buhay sa isinusulong na armadong pakikibaka ng NPA,” Castigador said.
PIGLAS-Palawan president Rodgen Limpiado also called on the youth to rally behind KADRE’s call, saying they have to stand and speak out for peace. He compared also mentioned the current situation of Ukraine where the youth are fighting for their country after Russia invaded them.
“A lot of young people in Ukraine are now sacrificing para ipaglaban ang kanilang bansa. Sana ganoon din tayo katapang – hindi ko sinasabi na sumali tayo sa laban but, ipaglaban natin yung kapayapaaan – we must be as brave as them,” Limpiado said.
The participants signed a peace covenant called “Makiisa para sa Kapayapaan” to cap the activity.
A similar event was sinultaneously held in the northern Palawan towns of Roxas, Taytay, San Vicente and El Nido participated by uniformed personnel from different law enforcement agencies, Sangguniang Kabataan, and former rebels.
The activity highlighted the burning of flags of the rebel group as a sign of condemnation of different agencies and organizations.
“Wala silang dapat na ipagdiwang dahil puros kasinungalingan, panlilinlang, pangingikil at karahasan lamang ang kanilang ipinadanas sa mga mamamayan ng halos limang dekada at tatlong taon,” by Marine Battalion Landing Team-3 (MBLT-3) said in a statement.
“[Ito ay] upang kondenahin at tuligsain ang marahas, mapangwasak at mapanlinlang na mga gawain ng Komunistang Teroristang Grupo sa kanilang walang matuwid at walang silbing anibersaryo,” MBLT-3 added.
The activity was conducted by MBLT-3 in partnership with National Intelligence Coordinating Agency 4B (NICA-4B), 2nd Palawan Police Mobile Force Company, Sangguniang Kabataan, former rebels, Kabataan Kontra Droga at Terorismo (KKDAT) and local government units.