Saying it runs counter to peace efforts
CATBALOGAN CITY- Samar Governor Reynolds Michael Tan expressed his reservation declaring the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army(CPP-NPA) as persona non grata.
According to the governor, declaring the communist group, particularly its armed wing, as persona non grata, may not help on the campaign of the national government to engage them to peace talks.
“In fact, even the DILG (Department of Interior and Local Government) does not support it as how can you initiate a peace talks if you will declare them as persona non grata,” Tan said during an interview.
“(But) on the other hand, the LGUs declares them as persona non grata as their strong message that they condemn the atrocities committed by them,” he added.
Several local government units of the province, to include its provincial capital of Catbalogan City, have passed resolutions declaring the CPP-NPA as persona non grata.
The 8th Infantry Division, the main headquarters of government troops in Eastern Visayas, is based in Catbalogan City.
The province continue to struggle with communist insurgency problem just like the provinces of Eastern Samar and Northern Samar.
Gov. Tan also said that while he has his own ‘personal’ reservations making the CPP-NPA as persona non grata, he would not mind if the provincial board would come up with a resolution for such purpose.
“That depends among the board members (to do that),” he said, adding they could at least condemn the atrocities being committed by the rebels against government forces or to the civilians.
Gov. Tan stressed that he is with the campaign of the national government to end the insurgency problem of the country.
“I want them to become useful citizens of our country,” he said.
For his part, he is making sure that people in far-flung barangays of the province would feel the presence of the provincial government but visiting them and providing basic services so they would not feel being neglected by the government.
The administration of Pres. Rodrigo Duterte aims to quell the insurgency problem of the country by 2022.
The Regional Peace and Order Council has earlier push for a localized peace talks.