THE 10 municipalities of Mountain Province have declared the New People's Army (NPA) persona non grata.
The towns cited the extortion activities being conducted by the NPA in Sagada, victimizing contractors, business establishments, and even newly-elected and appointed officials.
One of the victims who asked not to be named said the NPA forces contractors to short-change their projects to be able to give "revolutionary taxes," resulting in sub-standard roads and buildings.
This came after the Leonardo Pacsi Command-NPA Cordillera Peoples Democratic Front (CPDF) in Mountain Province issued a statement condemning the military's scare tactics and violence in the province.
The CPDF accused the military of committing "back-to-back cases" of human rights violations, as well as the proliferation of "fake news" or black propaganda throughout the province. It was, however, unable to cite specific cases.
But Brigadier General Israel Ephraim Dickson, Police Regional Office (PRO)-Cordillera director, said the scare tactics and violence experienced by the people are coming from the NPA.
"The truth of the matter is that the people kept the NPA in the dark so as to prevent them from extorting the company and sabotaging the project. Ironically, it vilifies the existence of the hydropower plant in Sabangan but continues to extort the company running it. Clearly, the NPA and CPDF are hypocrites," Dickson said in a statement.