The 302nd Infantry Brigade of the Philippine Army has called on barangays affected by terrorist threats to be vigilant and for local officials to be responsive in addressing the issue of communist terrorist groups (CTGs).
Army brigade commander, Col. Leonardo Peña, of the 302nd IB urged residents to be alert against the deceptive tactics of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army to put an end to their abuses and violence in the barangays.
While majority of the local government units in the province have already declared the CPP-NPA-National Democratic Front persona non grata in their respective localities, Peña said government agencies concern should also regularly bring their programs and services to the hinterland barangays.
“This is to maintain peace and trust government’s efforts in bringing development to their community as part of ‘whole of nation approach’ to address the root cause of NPA terrorism in the barangays,” Peña said.
During a Provincial Peace and Order Council meeting, Peña reported that, as of July, they registered 21 CTG non-violent activities comprised mostly of movements in the towns of Manjuyod, Ayungon, Tayasan, Mabinay, and in Bais City, or the areas considered under Central Negros 2-Weakened.
He said the CTGs also operate in parts of the towns of Sta. Catalina, Siaton, Sibulan, Valencia, Pamplona, and Tanjay City, under the South East Front-Dismantled.
“Mostly monitored activities of NPA were movements, meaning they are going to different barangays trying to recover their strength and feel their presence, at the same time recruit for new members,” Peña said.
It has been reported that the towns of Sta. Catalina, Bindoy, and Manjuyod, and Guihulngan City have high densities of NPA activities as part of their recovery efforts and in visiting their mass base.
CTGs have also been reported in parts of Bayawan City and the municipalities of Siaton and Pamplona.
“Hence, barangay officials should know who are their constituents and monitor their movements and inform the Army that there is unusual movement in the area,” Peña said.*PIA