MARAMAG, Bukidnon, July 4-Some 145 indigenous people of Umayamnon and Bisaya tribes in Sitios Tagbacan, Tumbaga, Saluringan, and Katablaran all of barangay Canangaan, Cabanglasan, Bukidnon burned the flag of CPP-NPA (Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army) to show their disgust on the NPA's brutality and crimes against humanity.
Cabanglasan mayor Renante Inocando led the assemblage, while Barangay councilor Arturo Delamance, chairman for Peace and Order Committee of Barangay Canangaan local government officiated the burning of CPP-NPA flag. In like manner, the burning of CPP-NPA flaglets by former NPA mass supporters immediately followed. All of the Indigenous People (IP) villagers then declared the terrorists as Persona Non-Grata in their community.
Graced by tribal chieftain Datu Conrado Salimbaon; Barangay Canangaan chairman Monding Ogade; officials from the 88th Infantry "Maringal" Battalion; Philippine National Police; Bureau of Fire Protection; and other government agencies, the event was held recently at the Municipal Gymnasium in Cabanglasan town.
Lieutenant Colonel Franklin F. Fabic, commanding officer of the army's 88th Infantry "Maringal" Battalion (88IB), said the event signifies people's affirmation of withdrawing their support to the NPA and the tribe's way of showing that the communist terrorists are no longer welcomed in their communities.
It can be recalled that residents of four remote Sitios in Barangay Canangaan fled their homes when the CPP-NPA terrorized the people by extorting money and food.
The Municipality of Cabanglasan recently declared CPP-NPA-NDF as Persona-Non Grata and conducted the 'send-off ceremony' for the Army's Community Support Teams (CSTs) that will be immersed in five barangays identified as NPA-affected areas namely Canangaan, Paradise, Mandahican, Mandaing, and Cabulohan.
In his statement, mayor Inocando thanked the 88IB and PNP for the courage and commitment by bringing peace in his municipality. He also reminded the people of Barangay Canangaan-specifically the four affected Sitios-to help the government in protecting their community.
"Please don't allow the NPA to manipulate and control you. Don't be afraid of them. Let us unite and help one another by convincing the NPAs to surrender and avail of the government's ECLIP offer so that we could attain sustainable peace in our community," the mayor said.
Meanwhile, LtCol Fabic said, "We will do our mandate of protecting the people and securing our land. We, the Maringal troopers, will continue to hunt down these terrorists to protect our people with the help of LGU and from all of you. Let us unite for a better future of our younger generation." (CMO, 88IB, 403Bde, 4ID, PA/PIA Bukidnon)