Isabela town in Negros Occidental yesterday joined four other local government units in northern Negros, in declaring the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front as “persona non grata”, stressing that they are not welcome in the town.
The ceremonial signing of the declaration was led yesterday by Isabela Mayor Irene Montilla, who was joined by the Sangguniang Bayan members headed by Vice Mayor Renato Malabor Jr., and town barangay captains, among other sectors of society.
A walk for peace was also held at the Isabela town poblacion, that was followed by an oath of allegiance to peace, that was also participated in by Brig. Gen. Benedict Arevalo, 303rd Infantry Brigade commander, Lt. Col. Egberto Dacoscos, 62nd Infantry Battalion commanding officer, representatives of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, Bureau of Fire and Protection, Department of Education, religious sector, government employees, as well as students.
In previous months, the municipalities of Toboso and Calatrava, and the cities of Escalante and San Carlos also declared the CPP-NPA-NDF as persona non grata.
About 1,000 Isabela residents joined the series of peace-related activities, that was highlighted by the burning of CPP-NPA flags, as a sign of denunciation of the local terrorist organization, Dacoscos said.
The participants also carried placards and streamers denouncing NPA atrocities.
Arevalo, meanwhile lauded the cooperation of Isabela municipal officials and residents in initiating a holistic approach in addressing the local insurgency problem.
In her speech, Montilla, said “This is the time to end the chaos and damage brought by these groups( CPP-NPA-NDF) with false ideology.
“To my constituents, we should never again allow ourselves to be deceived by the NPA,” she said, adding “Let us stand by our guided principle, which is to bring peace to this municipality.
Together, we will rise as one, to deliver progress to all of us,” Montilla said, and also stressed the need for the LGU to link up with the business sectors and investors.*
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