The 79th Infantry Battalion Community Support Program being implemented in remote areas of Negros Occidental, in tandem with local government units, was reported to be gaining ground, with more sympathizers and supporters of the New People’s Army pledging allegiance to the government, with others declaring the rebel group persona non grata.
Thirty-eight supporters of the NPA in Brgys. Tabun-ac and Bandila, Toboso surrendered and pledged their allegiance to the government last week, Lt. Col. Gerard Alvaran, 79th Infantry Battalion commander, said.
“This is a clear manifestation that they are already fed up with the lies and deceptions as well as extortion activities perpetrated by the rebel group,” Alvaran added.
Mayor Richard Jaojoco also thanked the 79IB, PNP, and other partner agencies for bringing peace in Toboso, and called on residents of Brgys. Tabun-ac and Bandila to help the government in protecting their communities.
He also reported that barangay officials and residents of the rebel-infiltrated Canlusong barangay in EB Magalona, Negros Occidental, declared the Communist Party of the Philippines-NPA, and its political wing, the National Democratic Front, “persona non grata”, following a peace advocacy forum in the barangay on Friday.
“Attaining a just, sustainable, and lasting peace cannot be left to the security forces alone. We need to unite and help each other contribute to the peace-building efforts of the government and be partners in ending local communist armed conflict,” Alvaran told Canlusong residents during the symposium.
Mayor Marvin Malacon lauded the commitment of the 79th IB in bringing peace to the municipality of EB Magalona, and encouraged barangay officials, led by chairwoman Merriam Porras, and residents to unite for the development of their community.
“For over 50 years, we have been dealing with the problem on insurgency. Do not allow the NPA to manipulate and control you,” Alvaran said.
The two separate activities conducted by the 79IB, Special Action Battalion 6, and local PNP, that were also participated in by Toboso and EB Magalona LGUs, were highlighted by the burning of a CPP-NPA flag in Brgy. Tabun-ac, Toboso, and ceremonial signing of a barangay resolution declaring the CPP-NPA-NDF persona non grata in Brgy. Canlusong, EB Magalona.*GPB