Two municipalities in Palawan have declared the members of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) “terrorists” and their organizations “persona non grata.”
Vice Admiral Rene Medina, commander of the Western Command (WESCOM), said in a press conference on Monday that the municipal council of Brooke’s Point passed a resolution declaring the rebels as individuals who use violence and intimidation against civilians and the CPP-NPA is not welcome to stay in the town.
He said Resolution No. 2019-77A was passed by the municipal council and signed on March 18, 2019, by Mayor Mary Jean Feliciano.
In Taytay, the municipal council also passed a similar resolution in April, but Mayor Romy Salvame has not yet signed it.
Medina considers the passage of the resolutions as “encouraging” and in compliance with President Rodrigo Duterte’s Executive Order No.70, which seeks to end the local communist armed conflict.
“Brooke’s Point’s move is proof that many municipalities and barangays have long desired to disassociate themselves from the communist-terrorists. The AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) is optimistic that those who have been deceived and exploited by the communist-terrorist group will be finally enlightened regarding the true nature of these organizations,” he said.
The local government of Brooke’s Point with its residents, Medina claimed, “are united in condemning the acts of violence, extremism, terrorism of the CPP-NPA.”
Meanwhile, 3rd Marine Brigade (3MBDe) deputy commander Colonel Edwin Amadar said the move by the two towns is their initiative and “was not influenced by the military”.
“The purpose of the resolution is to prevent them from further influencing the barangays. It is intended to let people in Brooke’s Point become aware na ang CPP-NPA ay hindi welcome sa kanilang bayan. Humingi kami ng tulong sa kanila kung paano ma-a-address ang problema sa CPP-NPA and then isa sa naisip nila para makatulong ay gumawa ng resolution para ma-declare na persona non grata ang mga ito. This is to show that they are not welcome,” Amadar said.
He also said many barangays in Palawan have already been cleared from the influence of the reds.
Amadar, however, did not name the cleared barangays and only said they are in municipalities in southern Palawan.