BAGUIO CITY – A simultaneous candle lighting and peace rally was held on Monday evening in different locations in the city denouncing the presence of the communist New People’s Army (NPA) in some communities here.
Cesvir Lopez, focal person of the Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict (ELCAC) of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG)-Baguio, called on residents, including parents, to be always aware of what their children are doing.
“We would like to call upon our constituents, especially the parents, we should know what our children are involved in, (what) our families are involved in, so that we would know how to address when they are called to join terrorism activities,” he said.
Lopez said it is important that people know about the deception of the terrorist organization so they could not victimize the youth in joining the NPAs.
“Sana patuloy tayong magkaisang lahat (let us all continue to cooperate) for the assurance to attain peace in our city and our whole country,” she said.
The candle lighting activity coincided with the observance of the National day of solidarity, condemnation and outrage against the CPP-NPA-NDF (Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front) .
Col. Christopher Sab-it of the 503rd Infantry Battalion said the event was part of the partnership of the Community Support Program (CSP) of the Philippine Army and the Philippine National Police.
“Today, we are here for a candle lighting for peace. We know that we have insurgency problem with the NPA which has been for years, but we are trying to resolve the problem,” he said.
Under the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte, he said that partnership to end the armed conflict with the terrorist group is addressed by the whole country, not just the government, but those in the private sector joining hands.
He said that 52 years of insurgency is too much.
“Sobra na ito (this is too much) and it is not getting us anywhere,” Sab-it said. “Kapag may kaguluhan, walang (if there is insurgency, there is no) development.”
The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. (PNA)