16 barangays declared NPA-free

A TOTAL of 16 insurgency-affected barangays in Davao City have been declared as cleared, peaceful, and conflict–resilient communities by the board, a military official said.

These barangays are in Toril, Marilog, Baguio, Calinan, Paquibato, Buhangin, and Bunawan.

Brigadier Genetal Ernesto C Torres Jr., commander of 1003rd Infantry Brigade, said the Area Clearing Validation Board (ACVB) composed of officers from 1003rd Infantry Brigade, 10th Infantry Division, Davao City Police Office (DCPO), barangay officials from the concerned 16 barangays, and City Government officials convened Wednesday, December 12, to validate the recommendation of the evaluation board on the clearing of identified barangays.

These barangays are three in Toril, namely: Atan-Awe, Kilate and Tagluno; two in Marilog: Baganihan and Magsaysay; two barangays in Baguio: Dacudao and Gumalang; three in Calinan: Lacson, Dalagdag and Lampianao; two in Paquibato: Sumimao and Pandaitan; two in Buhangin: Tigatto and Indangan; and a barangay in Bunawan: Gatungan.

Torres said the ACVB signed a resolution stating the 16 barangays have met all the parameters for the clearing of insurgency-affected barangays.

This includes the dismantling of the Communist Party of the Philippines - New People's Army (CPP-NPA) politico-military structure; the denial of the CPP-NPA access to the area, resources, and manpower, including mass base support; and the establishment of a functioning barangay information net and integrated community public safety system.

"The successful clearing was finally reached as a result of the months-long Community Support Team (CSP) deployment of the military, in close collaboration with the police, barangay officials and the Davao City Government, through Peace 911, in addressing the issues that gave rise to insurgency," Torres said.

With these developments, he said it is expected that the Barangay Council becomes active in catering to the needs of the barangay; the residents support and participate in government programs and activities; and there is an active networking and linkaging among the local government units (LGUs), local government agency (LGAs), non-government organization (NGOs) and public officials for the efficient delivery of basic goods and services for the local populace.

To date, a total of 49 barangays in Davao City have been cleared of NPA influence since the start of the year.

"The 1003rd Raptor Brigade shall remain an active partner of the Davao City Government in the implementation of peace and development programs to sustain our gains in attaining lasting peace for the city," he added.

Meanwhile, last December 11, Torres added that another 18 barangays of Davao City were evaluated as cleared. After the evaluation, it will likewise undergo area clearing validation to be done by the ACVB.


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