From the Philippine News Agency (Feb 26, 2019): Communities realizing disadvantage of harboring Reds: AFP
More communities in the countryside are realizing that not taking a strong stand against the New People's Army (NPA) puts them at a disadvantage.
This was emphasized by Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) public affairs office chief, Col. Noel Detoyato when asked Tuesday on why more local government units are showing their resolve against the communist rebels and declaring them persona non grata.
"Certainly, communities are now convinced that not taking a strong stand against these insurgents is not giving them an advantage. That the presence of insurgents in their communities is just adding to the misery and hardships to their constituents because their presence drives investors away and they hamper the delivery of government's basic services," he said in a message to the Philippine News Agency.
Aside from these, continued NPA presence in rural communities is an added security threat and burden as they extort from the population, Detoyato added.
"Aside from the threat that they pose in the security and the added burden because they are also extorting money and forced support from the populace," the AFP official said.
The NPA, the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines, is listed as a terrorist organization in the United States and European Union.
"Further, they also influence the voters to vote for candidates that are supportive of the insurgents and they can no longer enjoy their freedom to choose," Detoyato said.
On Oct. 23, 2018, 21 villages in the province of Bukidnon, namely New Eden, Concepcion, and Bacusanon in Pangantucan town; Dominorog, Cosina, Lantud, Miarayon, and Lirongan in Talakag town; Imbayao and Mapayag in Malaybalay City; Puntian and Kulasi in Sumilao town; Basac, Kulasihan, Kapitan Juan, and Kaatuan in Lantapan town; Bagawbawan, Luruga, San Carlos, and Barobo in Valencia City declared members of the communist movement as persona non grata.
Meanwhile, the municipality of Sibagat, Agusan del Sur followed suit on December 21.
The provinces of Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental made the same move in resolutions dated January 25 and February 19, respectively.
On February 15, the villages of Camam-onan and Gigaquit, which were once known as rebel-infested areas in the province of Surigao del Norte also declared the CPP-NPA members as persona non grata.
The latest to declare members of the group as undesirable were another seven barangays in Bukidnon, namely Caburacanan, St. Peter, Silae and Indalasa in Malaybalay and Canangaan, Freedom and Dalacutan in the town of Cabanglasan.
On Monday, officials and residents of Barangay Carol-an in Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental agreed to pass a resolution declaring the CPP-NPA as persona non grata.