Residents of Himamaylan City, Negros Occidental burn the Communist Party of the Philippines flags to condemn their presence and atrocities in a program held at Gatuslao Gymnasium on Friday (March 29, 2019). (Photo courtesy of 62nd Infantry Battalion, Philippine Army)
BACOLOD CITY -- Residents in two southern cities of Negros Occidental held separate activities to denounce the atrocities of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) and its political wing, the National Democratic Front (NDF).
The rites were held on Friday in line with the 50th founding anniversary of the CPP-NPA which is listed as terrorist organization by the United States and the European Union.
In Sipalay City, some 140 residents of Barangay Cabadiangan burned the flag of the CPP and took their oath of allegiance to the government in the activity facilitated by the Philippine Army’s 15th Infantry Battalion IB (15IB) headed by Lt. Col. Patricio Tomales.
Capt. Arnel Lozada, commanding officer of 15IB’s Charlie Company, said on Saturday the village has been identified to be “influenced by the rebels.”
He added that the NPA has been monitored conducting extortion activities, recruiting of minors, and trying to win back their former supporters.
Lozada urged the residents to stop giving financial, material, and moral support to the communist rebels during the dialogue.
After the talk, the residents took an oath denouncing the presence and activities of the NPA and burned the flag of the CPP.
They also agreed to come up with a barangay resolution declaring the NPA-CPP-NDF members and leaders persona non grata, Lozada said.
In Himamaylan City, residents from 19 barangays with their respective village officials joined the peace rally on Friday to condemn the presence of the NPA in their area.
The participants marched along the national highway in Kabankalan City going to Gatuslao gymnasium in Himamaylan City.
During the program, Lt. Col. Erwin Glenn Provido, chief of Himamaylan City Police Station, and Lt. Col. Egberto Dacoscos, commanding officer of 62nd IB, delivered messages of peace.
The activity included testimonies from former rebels and was highlighted by the oath of peace and oath of allegiance, and pledge of support of the participants to the Republic of the Philippines.
It was followed by candle-lighting and prayers for the victims of NPA atrocities, and burning of the CPP-NPA flags and symbols.
The waving of the Philippine flag and ceremonial release of white doves as a symbol of peace capped the program.
Dacoscos said the local government units, other government agencies, and partner-stakeholders should be aware of the security threat of the CPP-NPA against the people in the guise of helping them to solve their problems in the community. (PNA)