PERSONA NON GRATA. Police Col. Martin Defensor Jr, director of the Iloilo City Police Office (ICPO), says on Wednesday (June 26, 2019) he will be asking incoming city and provincial officials of Iloilo to declare the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) 'persona non-grata'. The incumbent Sangguniang Panlungsod denied the similar request of the ICPO in May this year. (PNA file photo)
ILOILO CITY -- Top police officials in Iloilo will be asking the incoming city and provincial executives to close their doors to the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) and to condemn the terror group's atrocities.
Col. Martin Defensor Jr., director of the Iloilo City Police Office (ICPO), said he will be talking to incoming Iloilo City officials to declare the communist-terrorist group “persona non-grata”.
“I will talk to them first before requesting again for the declaration of the 'persona non grata'. The last time that we requested right after the election, the stand of the Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) was not to support our request,” he said in a phone interview Wednesday.
He was informed that the SP claimed the CPP-NPA has not committed atrocities in the city. Likewise, they are not privy to the identities of the NPAs, thus there is no way they can be prevented from entering Iloilo City.
“What we want is to manifest that our desire that the armed struggle should be stopped and they should already join in the mainstream and if they wanted to participate in the democratic process it has to be through peaceful means,” he said.
However, Defensor said that there are a lot of local government units (LGUs), which have already declared the communist-terrorist group "persona non-grata".
“It’s about time that we will show that we are together to declare them as 'persona non-grata' to show them that their almost 50 years of armed struggle is not welcome. It’s time that we resort to peaceful means. If they are concerned about our country, it’s time that they should cooperate with our government,” he said.
Col. Marlon Tayaba, director of the Iloilo Police Provincial Office (IPPO), said he will be requesting the Iloilo Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC) when they convene next week to pass a resolution to denounce the atrocities of the CPP-NPA.
“From the PPOC, we will also request LGUs. Most probably the Sanggunian to also issue the same statement,” he said.
He is not inclined to request for the declaration of "persona non-grata" because it is too high-sounding for the common people to understand.
Tayaba believes the declaration denouncing their atrocities is necessary for local government units, particularly local chief executives, to manifest their opposition to the NPA.
The presence of NPA rebels is still visible in the province’s high-risk areas, particularly Miagao, San Joaquin, Alimodian, Tubungan, Lemery and San Rafael, among others.
While no criminal activity involving NPA was recorded in the city in the past 30 to 40 years, yet cases of harassments and threats had been reported in the province.
In 2017, the communist terrorist group attacked the Maasin Municipal Police Station and took 12 firearms.
In 2018, three personnel of the IPPO 1st Provincial Mobile Force Company were wounded when the rebels detonated an anti-personnel mine in a village of Leon town.
Last January, a trooper of the Philippine Army was wounded when ambushed by the NPA in a far-flung village of Lambunao. Two months ago, the rebels also attacked a highway police assistance desk (HIPAD) and took a rifle and service firearm of the police on duty.
The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, European Union, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. (PNA)