Village officials and residents of Masbate conducted another round of simultaneous peace rallies on Friday and denounced communist terrorist groups (CTGs).
“Ang aming barangay ay suportado ang gobyerno para sa tunay na pagbabago (Our barangay fully supports the government for real change),” one streamer read.
Capt. John Paul Belleza, Philippine Army 9th Infantry Division (9ID) spokesperson, said on Sunday the marchers were from Barangays Poblacion and Lagta in Baleno town and Barangay Pawa in Masbate City.
“They marched down the main roads and decried the deception and extortion activities of CTGs amid the Covid-19 pandemic and their other terroristic, ruthless, and unlawful activities,” Belleza told the Philippine News Agency.
Replica flags of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) were also burned to show that terrorists are not welcome in their villages.
Previous peace rallies were held in Barangays Matanglad and Bonbon in Milagros and Barangays Ubungan Dacu and Ubungan Diot, also in Baleno.
A total of 96 villages and 10 municipalities in Masbate already declared CTG members as personae non gratae (unwelcome persons).
Lt. Col. Siegfried Felipe Awichen, Battalion Commander of the 2nd Infantry Battalion, thanked Masbateños for their support in getting rid of Bicol Region communists.
Maj. Gen. Henry Robinson Jr.. 9th ID head, also said that as long as authorities, local government units, government agencies, and Bicolanos unite, ending insurgency is achievable.
“Peace rallies may seem usual and trivial but for people who were once victimized by the atrocities of CTGs, participating in these kinds of activities is more than enough to show their clamor and earnest desire to live in a place where peace and progress are within reach,” he said.
The European Union, through Council Decision 2011/70/CFSP dated January 11, 2011, designated the CPP-NPA as a terrorist organization.
The CPP-NPA is also listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.
Source: Philippines News Agency