THE 4th Infantry Division records a total of 18 barangays, three towns, and one province in Northern Mindanao and Caraga regions declaring the New People’s Army (NPA) and militant organizations as persona non-grata.
The recent to declare is the municipalities of San Francisco in Agusan del Sur and Tagbina in Agusan del Sur.
According to the army, this is part of their intensified “whole-of nation” approach and “peaceful war” approach against the NPA. The army said these strategies are causing communists to “lose hold of their mass supporters in the ground”.
Since September 1, 2018, the following areas declared persona non-grata: the province of Surigao del Sur, the municipalities of San Francisco and Sibagat of Agusan del Sur and; Tagbina, Surigao del Sur; Barangay San Pedro, San Luis, Agusan del Sur; Barangay Maharlika, Bislig City Surigao del Sur; Barangay Ilang-ilang, Loreto, Agusan del Sur; Barangay Camam-onan, Gigaguit, Surigao del Norte; Barangay Mampi and Pakwan in Lanuza, Surigao del Sur; Barangay San Roque, Madrid, Surigao del Sur; Barangay Cabangahan, Cantilan, Surigao del Sur; and Barangay Pantukan, Carrascal, Surigao del Sur.
Meanwhile in Bukidnon, Barangay Imbayao and Barangay Mapayag of Malaybalay City in Bukidnon; Barangay New Eden and Barangay Concepcion of Pangantucan, Bukidnon; Barangay Kaatuan, Lantapan, Bukidnon; Barangay Guinoyoran, Barangay Barobo, Barangay Lurugan and Barangay San Carlos all of Valencia City, Bukidnon, all declared the NPA as not welcomed in their areas.
Major General Franco Nemesio Gacal, 4ID commander, lauded local government units in their effort to “protect the people against the lies and deceptions”.
“I truly appreciate the effort and initiatives of our local government units in their gallant stand and genuine concern of protecting and saving their constituents against deception and lies of the CNTs who have, for 50 years, been a major hindrance for peace and development," he said.
It is high time for us to unite and end communist insurgency by addressing identified socio-economic concerns in order to attain inclusive and sustainable peace in CARAGA and Northern Mindanao,” Gacal added.
Gacal said he expects more local government units to follow suit, with the Executive Order (EO) 70 already operational.
The executive order aims to establish Peace and Development Zones (PDZs) in Caraga and Convergence Areas for Peace and Development (CAPDev) in Northern Mindanao, as well as the establishment of the Regional Task Force to end local Communist Armed Conflict in both regions.