A high-ranking leader of the New People’s Army (NPA) in Caraga has downplayed the persona non grata declaration by local governments units (LGUs) in the region calling it part of a “psychological warfare operations” by security forces.
Ka Oto, spokesperson of the NPA’s Front Committee 16 in Northeastern Mindanao, said tagging the Communist Party of the Philippines and its armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA) as persona non grata (unwelcome or unacceptable) will not solve the country’s 50-year insurgency problem.
He said the local governments and the municipal peace and order councils around the region were coerced in passing resolutions declaring them persona non grata.
According to him, heavily armed soldiers went from house to house, threatening village officials, tribal leaders and mass supporters in known NPA strongholds who refused to support the initiative.
The military identified Caraga one of the “priority areas” in so far as addressing the insurgency problem is concerned.
Despite the increasing number of Caraga LGUs which declared the leaders and members of CPP-NPA and left-wing groups persona non grata, Oto said the rebels still enjoy substantial mass support and the armed resistance will continue to defend and fight for the democratic interests of the Filipino people.
The future of the insurgency would not be dependent on the “toothless” council resolutions, he added.
“The armed struggle will continue until the plunder of the people’s resources stops, and land reform and nationalist industrialization for sovereignty and social justice are achieved,” Oto said. By CLC