SUCH is my description of the persistence of the City DILG and the police, with military prodding, in pushing Bacolod City Government to come out with official declaration of “persona non grata” on the CPP-NPA.
The DILG of whom the police, and two other security agencies are under, is an institution with no business pressuring or persuading or whatever the city government to engage in frontal attack against the armed insurgents.
The local government unit (LGU) is a civilian institution and not a component arm of the military or state security institution.
I agree that the DILG, in the spirit of primos interpares, and so called whole of nation approach must and must lead in the implementation of President Duterte’s Executive Order 70, or the creation of national task force to end communist local armed conflict.
But the contribution of DILG in that task force should be focused on how to make LGUs and all its political instrumentalities exercise good governance. And by good governance means, the LGC, DILG memo circulars, CSC, COA and DBM have already set clear policies and guidelines in realizing it.
Among them, to get rid of corrupt local chief executives (LCEs) and officials, to make Local Development Council, the Local Special Bodies, the people’s participation in all levels of government, truly and effectively functional. And by such they should know how to make realistic, inclusive, viable and sustainable development plans, investment plans, assets management plans, and human capital development.
This alone already demands so much times, efforts, talents, resources and sacrifices for DILG, and so for the LGUs.
Other civilian institutions like DSWD, DAR, DA, DTI, DOLE, should likewise focus on effective delivery of services to the right sectors, not on ghost recipients, political base, families and kin of the officials.
Declaring CPP-NPA as persona non-grata is a militarist strategy, it is adversarial, divisive and only deepens the manifestations of the social roots of armed conflict, rather than ending it.
Worse, they might even be considered legitimate politico-military targets of the CPP-NPA.
On the other hand, to push the city officials, whose chief mandate is not to engage in some sort of warfare but to make the city become a model of good local governance especially that it is still far from being so.
As I always said, and shown in the practice of some LGUs with good and sincere leaders, good governance diminishes armed insurgency while bad governance only increases the reasons for citizens to dissent, including joining the armed resistance.
Armed insurgency thrives not only on the strength of its ideology and politics but in places where LCEs and their officials consider LGU as the extension of their family and clan businesses and their personal political career.
Armed insurgency thrives in places where the front line face of the national government, the DILG and other national line agencies, are worse than the problems they are supposed to solve.
As a staunch advocate of good governance and citizens empowerment, I dare challenge the Bacolod City officials to reject such militarist call including all its attendant components, and instead dedicate themselves truly and sincerely in finding ways to make the city a model, a template of good governance in the province and the country.
To DILG, especially the local field officers, broaden your perspective and correct your inconsistency and misplaced advocacy. Don’t be misled by the beating of war drums. Instead, listen to the agonies, sentiments, needs and aspirations of the people.
Empower the voiceless and powerless.