From the Philippine Information Agency (Mar 19, 2019): NegOr PPOC adopts motion to declare NPAs as persona non grata
Provincial Board Member Jessica Villanueva (with microphone) during the Negros Oriental Provincial Peace and Order Council Meeting held March 12, 2019 at Capitol, Dumaguete City. (PIA7-NegOr)
DUMAGUETE CITY -- Members of the Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC) here approved in principle a motion that seeks to declare the New People’s Army (NPA) as persona non grata in the province.
Office for Senior Citizens Affairs President George Villamor moved for the motion which was seconded by Provincial Board Member Jessica Villanueva. Both are members of the PPOC.
Board Member Villanueva raised this topic during the council’s meeting held March 12 at the Capitol.
Villanueva disclosed that a high ranking official of the Philippine Army (PA) is asking if the council can issue such resolution.
Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Provincial Director Dennis Quiñones believes that areas like Guihulngan City, where a lot of atrocities allegedly committed by NPA took place, should be the first to issue the declaration and the provincial government will follow their lead.
“The PPOC will have better appreciation on the seriousness of the matter kay nauna man ang Guihulngan (because Guihulngan took the first step),” Quiñones said.
On this, Villuenava underscored that it would be wise for the provincial government if it will initiate such action rather than following the lead of cities and municipalities.
“I think it is also wise that we lead. Nia man ta sa province. What if naghulat ra pod sila sa atong action? Hearing the reports from AFP, hearing the report from PNP, nakita man gyud nato ang atrocities na gihimo na sa atoang mga left leaning brother (What if the cities and municipalities are also waiting for our action? Hearing the reports from the AFP and PNP, we have seen the atrocities made by our left leaning brothers),” Villanueva told members of the council.
She also believes the Philippine Army has good reasons for asking the council to pass a resolution declaring NPAs as persona non grata in Negros Oriental.
“The PA, who is part of our government, is asking us to pass such resolution because this is a concerted effort nato tanan sa community na makipagbatok ining mga kontra sa gobyerno to protect the citizens of our community (The PA, who is part of our government, is asking us to pass such resolution because this is part of the concerted efforts of the members of community in fighting the threats to our government and to protect the citizens of our community),” Villanueva explained.
With no objections on the motion raised by Villamor, PPOC Private Sector Representative Fernando Martinez announced the motion is carried out by the body.
Martinez presided the meeting after being nominated by the members of the council since there is no representative from the PPOC chair during that day.
However, Martinez asked Major Orly Brigoli of the 94th Infantry Battalion (IB) of PA if they have a position paper on this which the body can use as reference to make a clear pronouncement on the matter.
In response, Brigoli said he will refer to this to his superiors.
On the other hand, Brigoli considers the move a welcome development from the side of the Philippine Army noting that there are provinces particularly in Mindanao that already made the declaration even at the city or municipal level.
“Sa part namin sir, hindi lang kami ang may concern dito. Ano to, whole-of-nation approach. Kung manggagaling sa inyo lalo na sa LGU na mag-declare ng ganito mas malaking tulong iyon sa part namin (We are not the only agency concerned in this. This is a whole-of-nation approach. It will be a big help to us if this declaration will come from the LGUs),” Brigoli told members of PPOC.
With this, Martinez asked the Army to coordinate with the secretariat which is the DILG and provide technical assistance in drafting the resolution.