Residents of Sitio Green Valley, Barangay Dalwangan here have declared members of the New People’s Army (NPA) as undesirables.
In a meeting on Saturday afternoon, the villagers also called on the NPA, the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), to spare their community from armed conflict.
The assembly was held in the bullet-riddled village hall that was fired upon by the insurgents as they withdrew towards the hills after harassing an Army patrol base on the foot of Mt. Kitanglad last Thursday.
The attack killed four members of the NPA and two members of the 1st Special Forces Battalion.
“Let our community unite and prevent their return. Our people must cut all connections to them. We must inform our soldiers once you spot the NPAs coming to our direction. Our soldiers will protect us!” a community elder said in the vernacular.
His statement drew applause from the people attending the community dialogue.
“Why did the NPA attack and kill the soldiers who are very nice to us?” a farmer who attended the dialogue asked.
“I was shaking. We ducked to cover our daughter. The NPA knocked on our door next. I thought at first, they were soldiers but they are NPA. They wanted to use our Bongo truck,” one of the community leaders said.
The community also agreed to do a “pahina” or "bayanihan" (community work) and help in the completion of an Army Patrol Base project that was left unfinished.
The military said earlier that an 11-man team under the 1st Special Forces Battalion (SFB) was constructing a Patrol Base when attacked by some 30 fully-armed NPA rebels at about 9 p.m. on February 14.
Despite the incident, Lt. Col. Sergio Macarandan Jr., commanding officer of 1st SFB, directed his unit to continue the task of "defeating the communist NPA terrorists through community support programs".
He said the troops were conducting support activities following requests from residents to set up a Patrol Base to secure them from NPA rebels, who were extorting money from poultry farm owners in the area.
Both the United States and European Union have declared the CPP-NPA as a terrorist group.