Two villages in Davao City’s Paquibato District has declared the communist New People’s Army (NPA) as persona non grata, an official said.
Lawyer Elisa Lapina, Focal Person of Peace 911, said that several other barangays in Paquibato, the former stronghold of the Maoist rebels, have also manifested to do the same.
The official said she has talked to the leaders and the people of Colosas and Tapak villages to make sure that the decision was their own and they were not forced or intimidated by the soldiers.
“We are truly happy with the response of the community to the efforts of the city government. They were really the ones who volunteered to make such declaration and to (abandon) the NPA, choosing development to allow their areas to prosper,” she said.
Colonel Nolasco Mempin, the commander of the 1003rd Infantry Brigade, welcomed the development.
“It shows that our communities, through their local leaders expressed abhorrence to violence, intimidation, and the sufferings caused by the insurgents,” he said.
The declaration came barely five months after Colosas and Tapak were declared insurgency-free, alongside 12 other barangays in Paquibato District.