Iloilo Local Execs Aiding Rebels Warned

The top cop of the Iloilo Police Provincial Office (IPPO) on Saturday warned local chief executives against supporting the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA).

Col. Roland Vilela, IPPO director, said aiding the rebels in any form and means is going against the government.

In an interview, Vilela said there are local chief executives, vice mayors, and Sangguniang Bayan (SB) members who allegedly gave in to the permit to campaign demand of the rebels for the May 2019 elections.

“These are those who supported, gave revolutionary tax, and permit to campaign. It’s another form of supporting. It’s just a fair warning if they continue doing it, that we have our eyes on them and we are compelled to report them to DILG (Department of the Interior and Local Government),” Vilela said.

He said four mayors were allegedly aiding the rebels during the election time but “this is a work in progress, based on the initial (monitoring), that’s the number.”

He, however, didn’t disclose the names of the local chief executives but said they are from “NPA-infested areas” in the province.

Vilela said the alleged support of the elected government officials to the CPP-NPA are not considered rampant or active.

“It’s not that active, percentage wise. If we talk of the 42 towns and one component city of the province,” he said.

However, the police said it will be able to gauge the support of the local government units if it will welcome the creation of the Provincial Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (PTF-ELCAC) in their municipalities.

The PTF –ELCAC is to be formed by the province after the passage of the joint resolution of the Provincial Peace and Order Council and the Provincial Development Council.

“It should be cascaded to the municipal level, from there, we can gauge if there are still local government units supporting the rebels,” he said.

Vilela also said some of the mayors heeded to the demands of the CPP-NPA out of fear.

“The challenge is how we can give blanket security to those local elected officials and the people there because the CPP-NPA might come back,” he said.

With Executive Order 70, which adopts the whole-of-nation approach, Vilela urged the support of the government and the private sector to face the insurgency problem.

“It hampers and hinders development in our area if we are going to support lawless elements. For me, they (rebels) are no longer ideologist but brigands, robbers, criminals roaming around the hinterlands,” he said.

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)

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