CPP-NPA getting ‘irrelevant’ in Visayas: Viscom chief

PERSONA NON GRATA. Residents of an undisclosed barangay in the Visayas burn flags of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army (CPP-NPA) to express their indignation. Visayas Command (Viscom) commander, Lt. Gen. Robert Dauz on Saturday (Jan. 29, 2022) said due to the dwindling support from the community, the CPP-NPA is getting irrelevant in the region.(Contributed photo)

CEBU CITY – The Visayas Command (Viscom) on Saturday said communist rebels in the regions are fast becoming irrelevant due to dwindling support from the residents, sustained community engagement of soldiers, and the Barangay Development Program (BDP) of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC).

In a statement, Lt. Gen. Robert Dauz, Viscom commander, said the Community Support Program (CSP) has amplified the direct engagement of the government forces to the communities which led the people to detach from the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army (CPP-NPA).

CSP, a flagship program of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), is being credited for the many successful clearing of the presence of NPA in the communities.

“With our sustained community engagements, the people in the region started to break free from the clutches of the communist terrorists while embracing an active role in the government’s peace and development initiatives,” Dauz said.

He added that the development is “manifested in the increasing number of information provided by the community which translates into successful internal security and law enforcement operations by your government forces”.

Viscom reported that on January 25, members of the 301st Infantry Brigade successfully seized a hideout of the communist terrorists in Capiz following a 10-minute firefight with the communist rebels in Sitio Nolwan, Barangay Siya, Tapaz.

The soldiers recovered an anti-personnel mine, a hand grenade, a cellphone charger, a wristwatch, a pair of boots, a CPP-NPA flag, a backpack containing several personal belongings, assorted medicines, and several subversive documents.

The operation stemmed from information given by a concerned citizen in the said barangay.

“Having witnessed the government’s sincerity to ensure the well-being of the people in the region through the BDP, more and more people, as well as local government units, alienate the communist terrorists and repulse their presence in their respective locality by reporting it to the government forces leading to these successful skirmishes,” Dauz said.

BDP, the hallmark program of the NTF-ELCAC, is directed to thesustainable rehabilitationand development of822 barangaysformerly established as guerilla fronts of the CPP-NPA. Each barangay is provided with PHP20 million for their respective projects.

Viscom, which oversees military units and task groups in Central, Easter, and Western Visayas regions, reported that on Jan. 1, 2021 to date, 8,174 local government units in the Visayas declared the CPP-NPA persona non grata.

It said 7,759 of which are from the barangay level, 364 are from the municipalities, 39 are from the city, and 12 are from the provincial level.

Dauz lauded the soldiers for their unwavering commitment to secure the people in the Visayas and for ensuring that the democratic way of life is sustained.

“Lay down your arms, abandon your armed struggle, and head to the call of the government for genuine peace. Return to the fold of the law, avail of the government’s local integration program, and live a peaceful and progressive life with your families,” Dauz said in his appeal to the communist rebels.

The European Union, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines have listed the CPP-NPA as a terrorist organization.

The Anti-Terrorism Council also formally designated the National Democratic Front as a terrorist organization on June 23, 2021, citing it as “an integral and separate part” of the CPP-NPA that was created in April 1973. (PNA)

Source: Business Diary Philippines

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