CAMP SANG-AN, Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur – The peace-loving people of Zamboanga del Sur has declared the Communist NPA Terrorist (CNT) Group as persona non grata during the 3rd Regular Session of Sangguniang Panlalawigan on July 18, 2019.
The regular session which was attended by the Vice Governor, Acting Presiding Officer, Floor Leader, Sangguniang Panlalawigan, and Ex-officio members filed the Resolution no. 035-2019 which states that;
“The provincial government of Zambonga del Sur, through its local leaders make out the need for a united and intensive effort with the police, military and the populace for the deterrence of any act of terrorism and insurgency in the province of Zamboanga del Sur.”
“Whereas, the local leaders, needless to say, expressly abhor any act of violence, intimidation, and the sufferings caused by the terrorists and insurgents in the province of Zamboanga del Sur, thereby, they deem it of the essence to declare the terrorist group as persona non-grata.”
“Whereas, the declaration of persona non-grata of the Communist NPA Terrorist will give the government and its forces advantage as it is a big step to once and for all end the decades-long insurgency in the Philippines.”
Lt. Col. Marlowe Patria, commanding officer of the 53rd Infantry (Matapat) Battalion, said “Even with this declaration, we will intensify our community security operations to pursue the remaining CNT members who are still hiding in the mountains. We also encourage them (CNT) to go down, lay down their arms peacefully and join their comrades who are now living peacefully together with their families.”
Meanwhile, Brig. Gen. Bagnus Gaerlan, Jr., Commander of 102nd Infantry (IGSOON) Brigade who operationally controlled the 53rd IB said that, “This bold move is a great help in our effort to protect the communities from the atrocities of the communist terrorist group.”
“With the declaration, the CTG will have a small chance of recruiting our people especially the farmers, the youth, the women and the indigenous people who are vulnerable to the deception of this terrorist group. Likewise, we are expecting an enhanced cooperation between and among the people in giving information on the whereabouts of these terrorist group”, Gaerlan added.
For his part, Maj. Gen. Roberto Ancan, the 1st Infantry Division and Joint Task Force Zampelan (Zamboanga Peninsula and Lanao Provinces) commander, lauded the local government unit of Zamboanga del Sur on the declaration of the CTG as Persona Non Grata.
“The declaration of CTG as persona non-grata is in unison with the EO 70, creating the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), where “Whole-of-Nation-Approach” is institutionalized in attaining inclusive and sustainable peace,” Ancan added.
“With the help of the local communities, local chief executives and other stakeholders of peace and development, we can end the insurgency, attain a just and lasting peace and continue on with the progress and development of this part of the country,” Ancan concluded.