Leaders and members of the indigenous Negritos Ata and Bukidnon communities in the hinterlands of northern Negros have decided to stop supporting the New People’s Army, Lt. Col. Emelito Thaddeus Logan, 79th Infantry Battalion commander, said yesterday.
Logan, who organized a Peace Advocacy Symposium, with 120 chieftains and members of the two IP groups in the hinterland barangays of Bagong Silang and Pinuwayan in Salvador Benedicto, Marcelo, Lalong, and Minapasok in Calatrava, Celestino Villacin in Cadiz City, and Puey in Sagay City, said the IPs also condemned the NPA atrocities.
The Negros IP chieftains led by Richard Impil and members were the first to respond to the call of Col. Benedicto Arevalo, 303rd Infantry Brigade commander, for local governments in Negros to declare CPP-NPA leaders persona non grata and condemn NPA atrocities.
Logan said that the IPs are tired of the deceptions and recruitment of their members by the NPA.
Logan also encouraged Negritos Ata and Bukidnon tribe members who joined the NPA to surrender and avail of the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP), stressing that the armed struggle is not the solution to the problems of society
The LGUs should not be silent on which side they will support, Arevalo said.
Arevalo said that neutrality helps the oppressor, and never the victim.
The peace symposium held in Brgy. Minapasok, Calatrava, was also attended by representatives of the National Commission of Indigenous People, Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office, Municipal Agrarian Reform Office of Calatrava and the Philippine National Police, and a former NPA member who shared his experiences while in the rebel movement.*
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