MANILA – Contrary to Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte’s earlier statement, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Saturday said the Quezon City Government already denounced communist terrorism several months ago when it passed Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) Resolution No. 8189 s. 2020 dated March 16, 2020.
“Our records show that Quezon City passed the SP Reso. 8189 early this year which is entitled ‘A Resolution Strongly Condemning All Forms of Atrocities and Acts of Violence in Support of Executive Order No. 70, s. 2018’ during its 25th regular session. The resolution was approved by the Quezon City Council on March 16, 2020,” said DILG Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya.
Malaya, who is also DILG spokesperson, was reacting to Belmonte’s statement on Dec. 11 denying that the city government issued a resolution declaring the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (NDF) as persona non grata after the DILG reported that QC was among the 1,546 LGUs nationwide that issued such a resolution.
“I never said this… We are an inclusive city, where people are free to express their views, so long as we all follow the rule of law and behave ourselves accordingly,” Belmonte was quoted as saying in a text message to an online newspaper when asked if Quezon City issued such a declaration.
The resolution itself, Malaya said, states that the Quezon City Government supports the implementation of Executive Order No. 70 which created the National Task Force to End Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) and institutionalizes the whole-of-nation approach in attaining inclusive and sustainable peace in our country.
He added that the strong condemnation by local government units (LGUs), including Quezon City, of the atrocities of communist terrorist groups (CTGs) through SP resolutions in effect declares them as persona non grata in their localities.
“That is the effect of an LGU’s condemnation of the violence and atrocities perpetrated by these communist terrorists. When a local government unit (LGU) denounces the acts of violence of the CTGs, would it still open its doors and welcome them into their localities? Of course not. That has no rhyme nor reason,” Malaya said.
“Kapag sinabi nating kinokondena natin ang karahasan ng mga Komunistang terorista, ang ibig sabihin din noon ay nakapinid at nakakandado na ang kanilang mga pintuan laban sa kanila. Ibig sabihin, persona non grata na sila (If we say we are condemning the violence of communist terrorists, that also means that their (LGUs) doors are closed to them. It means they (CTs) are already persona non grata),” he said.
Persona non grata is a generic term that includes all forms of condemnation against the CPP-NPA-NDF and its front organizations whether it is directed against its members of the CTGs or their acts of violence and atrocities.
“Just the same, it means that they are not welcome in the LGUs and they cannot use that LGU as a base to kill or ambush government forces or liquidate, kidnap or extort from innocent civilians,” he said.
EO 70, which was signed by President Duterte in 2018, created the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict and institutionalized a whole-of-nation approach in achieving inclusive and sustainable peace as a means to end the five-decade problem with communist-terrorists.
The issuance of EO 70 shifts the fight against CTGs and their front organizations from a military-centric approach, wherein the AFP and the PNP are solely responsible, to a whole-of-nation approach where all civilian national government agencies, local government units, and civil society organizations take an active part in ending the CTGs by addressing the root causes of the insurgency.
The time has come for LGUs to make a stand against the end of the reign of terror of the CTGs and express their support for democracy, for peace, and for the country.
“Dalawang panig lang naman po ito. Sa isang panig ay ang gobyerno at ang mga Pilipino na tunay na nagmamahal sa demokrasya, kapayapaan at sa bayan. At sa kabilang panig ay ang mga kaaway ng taong bayan na ang gusto ay patalsikin ang gobyerno at magtatag ng communist state. Saang panig tayo? (This is only two sides. One side is the government and Filipinos who truly love democracy, peace, and for the nation. And on the other side is the enemies of the people who want to topple the government and establish a communist state. Which side are we?) ” he asked.
Of the total 1,546 LGUs that have declared CTGs as persona non grata, 64 provinces, 110 cities, and 1,372 municipalities have already passed resolutions while the remaining 169 LGUs are in various stages of deliberation in their respective provincial, city, and municipal councils.
In addition, some 12,474 barangays nationwide have also declared the CPP-NPA-NDF as persona non grata in their respective localities. (PNA)