DILG assures aid for peace volunteers in central NegOcc town

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) will help provide benefits to force multipliers who help maintain peace and order in the villages in La Castellana, Negros Occidental.

Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya gave the assurance to Mayor Rhumyla Nicor-Mangilimutan during the virtual press conference of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) on Monday.

“Opo, Mayor, ipaparating po natin iyong inyong request sa mga kinauukulan (Yes, Mayor we will bring your request to the attention of those concerned),” Malaya said.

Nicor-Mangilimutan shared her concern on the risks faced by members of Barangay Intelligence Network (BIN) and Barangay Peacekeeping Action Teams (BPATs) in carrying out their duties as some areas in the central Negros town had also experienced the atrocities of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA).

At present, there are more than 500 trained and accredited BPAT members in La Castellana, she said.

“If we only rely on the funds of the LGU (local government unit), we cannot deny the fact we don’t have enough resources to support all of them. They are being supported, but they also fear for their family,” the mayor said.

Nicor-Mangilimutan said she wants to know what the DILG or the Philippine Army can do to provide additional benefits to the peace volunteers and force multipliers.

To this, Malaya asked the mayor to send letter-requests to the DILG and the Philippine Army regarding her concerns.

The mayor said at present, La Castellana can no longer be considered as infiltrated by the NPA, but there are still masses that support them especially in the village along the boundary with Negros Oriental.

The latest atrocity in the area is the killing of Mario Landisa, 53, a resident of Sitio Mantuhod in Barangay Cabacungan last December 20.

He was gunned down by four armed men who introduced themselves as members of the CPP-NPA after he refused to give them food and cash days after the onslaught of Typhoon Odette.

On Jan. 27, 2013, eight civilians and a policeman were killed while 12 others were injured in an ambush perpetrated by the CPP-NPA in Barangay Puso.

The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.

The Anti-Terrorism Council also formally designated the National Democratic Front as a terrorist organization on June 23, 2021, citing it as “an integral and separate part” of the CPP-NPA that was created in April 1973.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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