Thursday, August 15, 2019

CPP-NPA as persona non grata in Iloilo City pushed

From the Philippine News Agency (Aug 15, 2019): CPP-NPA as persona non grata in Iloilo City pushed

PERSONA NON GRATA. Col. Martin Defensor Jr, director of the Iloilo City Police Office, will submit to the city government his request to declare CPP-NPA persona non grata in Iloilo City on Friday (Aug. 16, 2019). It will be the second time the police director will attempt after the first request was rejected by the previous Sangguniang Panlungsod. (PNA file photo by Gail T. Momblan)

ILOILO CITY -- The Iloilo City Police Office (ICPO) for the second time will be asking the city government here to declare the Communist Party of the Philippines- New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) persona non grata.

Col. Martin Defensor Jr., ICPO director, said on Thursday he already broached the idea during a conference with Mayor Jerry P. Treñas. The mayor asked him if it was necessary and the police director answered in affirmative.

He explained that there are “white areas” in response to the query of the mayor concerning issues on insurgency in the city.

Defensor underscored that while no CPP-NPA atrocities were recorded in this highly urbanized city, yet ICPO believed the rebels are conducting their “legal activities like financial transactions” here.

“We have reports of extortion activities under the umbrella of the CPP-NPA. So by a declaration of persona non grata, we are sending them a signal, a strong message they are not really welcome in the city,” he said.

By making them feel unwelcome, then they will have a limited sphere because they are not accepted in communities, he said.

“That’s our purpose, to make them feel alienated in the society and eventually they will succumb,” he added.

The letter-request for the declaration will be submitted to the city government on Friday.

In a previous interview, Treñas said he would support the declaration of the CPP-NPA as persona non grata.

“I have nothing against that if that is what they want. I will support that,” the mayor said.

To recall, Defensor previously urged the past administration for the declaration but was rejected by the previous Sangguniang Panlungsod claiming there were no recorded crime incidents in the city linked to the NPA in the past years.

Defensor said that the ICPO has been taking initiatives to dissuade students from joining left-leaning organizations.

He said their Police Community Relations, once in a while, conducts school visitations while there are also students who have their on-the-job training at the ICPO.

“I was too idealistic during my student days. But being just a student, the influence is very limited. The best thing that you can do if you have grievances on social problems is to strive to be able to hold positions that you can be of influence,” he advised the students. He said parliament of the streets is already outdated.

The city police director said that only a limited few are attending the activities of the leftist groups.

He cited as an example Thursday's activity to commemorate the death of the seven alleged NPA members killed in an encounter with the local police in Antique last year.

He said around 50 persons attended the mass at the St. Clement’s Church in La Paz district. However, during their motorcade towards Camp Delgado, only one vehicle joined and 17 individuals participated in the demonstration.

“That’s the situation now. The people are already lukewarm in accepting their issues. Probably they are fed up with their never-ending struggle against the government but without any direction,” he said.

The NPA, which has been engaged in a five-decade armed struggle, is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.

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