The Department of Agriculture-Bicol together with over 300 uniformed personnel, representatives of government and non-government organizations, youths, leaders and residents of  barangays Bariis and Banquerohan participated in the Indignation Rally on January 20, 2021 at the Peñaranda Park, Legazpi City to condemn the Communist-Terrorist Group (CTG) Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF).

The DA is the Vice-Chair of Poverty Reduction, Livelihood and Employment Cluster of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF ELCAC).

According to Philippine Army (PA) Battalion Commander LTC INF (GSC) Emerson P. De Vera, in January 17, 2021, three army soldiers who were in civilian clothes in Barangay Banquerohan were killed by a SPARU murder squad. They were actually on an admin mission to coordinate with the LGU for the security of a major road construction project in Banquerohan-Villahermosa.

Such attack caused fear and worry among the residents.

De Vera encouraged all members of the society, including the private sector and members of the community, to support peace and development building initiatives of the government.

“The government cannot end the communist insurgency problem alone without the active participation of its partners from the different sectors,” he said.

PA Commanding Officer of the 31st Infantry Battalion LTC Eric H. Culvera strongly denounced the acts of NPA and encouraged everyone to disclose to them any information or activities of this CTG.

Text lang po kayo sa amin tungkol sa kanila,” he added.

Former rebels Ka Jessa and Ka Bal bared the lies, deception and evils of the CTG. They urged their comrades to return and surrender to the government.

These FRs are now beneficiaries of the government’s Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) which contains a holistic package of benefits that they can avail such as livelihood assistance, medical assistance, education, housing, and legal assistance.

Chito Ante, representative of Legazpi City Mayor Noel Rosal, said that the local government already passed a resolution declaring the place as a Zone for Peace. If violence and terrorism continue in a place, this can impede economic prosperity, hinder sustainable environment and lowers the quality of life.

According to PNP, communist rebels are present in at least 782 barangays across the country. The short program was capped with a prayer for peace and unity. (jaysonmgonzales)