The Philippine Army in Negros supports the call of Armed Forces chief of staff, Lt. Gen.Benjamin Madrigal Jr., for local government units to condemn New People’s Army atrocities and declare communist rebel leaders “persona non grata”, Col. Benedict Arevalo, 303rd Infantry Brigade commander, yesterday said.
In the mid 1990s, the barangay council and residents of Brgy. Linantuyan in Guihulngan, Negros Oriental, passed a resolution declaring leaders of NPA and its affiliated left-wing organizations as persona non grata, military records show.
The LGUs should not be silent, on which side they will support, Arevalo said.
“Such declaration can affirm that they are really for the people and the government,” Arevalo added.
The NPA Leonardo Panaligan Command, on the other hand, slammed the Army on what it called militarization of central Negros, and debunked claims that they threatened students who attended the pre-celebration of the Communist Party of the Philippines 50 th founding anniversary last month.
Early this month, CAFGU member Joseph Gabia was shot and killed by suspected members of the NPA Special Partisan Unit, while on his way to a detachment in Brgy. Linantuyan, Guihulngan City.
Arevalo said that neutrality helps the oppressor, and never the victim.
“Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented,” he said, citing the Department of Interior and Local Government memorandum prohibiting local governments to support the CPP-NPA and its affiliated groups.
The Department of Justice has reduced from 649 to eight the alleged officers of the CPP it wants declared as terrorists in an amended petition filed before the Manila Regional Trial Court, that included the names of Frank Fernandez, secretary of the Komiteng Rehiyonal-Negros, and Cleofe Lagtapon, KR-Negros South East Front.*
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