Cleared of NPA

36 barangays in Davao City, Davao del Norte now insurgency-free: army

Thirty-six barangays in Davao City and Davao del Norte were declared by law enforcers as clear from the influence of the New People’s Army.

Brig. Gen. Ernesto Torres, the commander of 1003rd Infantry Brigade, said the Area Clearing Validation Board (ACBV), composed of officers from the 1003rd Infantry Brigade, 10th Infantry Division, Davao City Police Office, Davao Del Norte Provincial Police Office, local government executives and barangay captains convened on Wednesday and Friday to hand out their recommendation.

The 36 barangays are Alambre, Bangkas Heights, Bato, Bayabas, Eden, Marapangi, Mulig, Sirawan, and Tagurano of Toril; Riverside and Sirib of Calinan; Carmen, Tawan-tawan, and Baguio Proper of Baguio; Bantol, Buda, and Marilog Proper of Marilog; and, Angalan, Manambulan, New Carmen, and Tagakpan of Tugbok.

Meanwhile, the 15 barangays of Davao Del Norte are Buenavista, Consolacion, Katipunan, Katualan, Kauswagan, Kiotoy, Upper Licanan, Little Panay, Mabunao, Malativas, San Nicholas, San Roque, Sta Cruz, Tagpore and Waterfalls, all of Panabo City.

The board unanimously signed a resolution declaring that the 36 barangays have all met the parameters to delist them from the NPA hotspot areas.

The parameters include “the dismantling of CPP-NPA politico-military structure; the denial of CPP-NPA access to the area, resources, and manpower; and the establishment of a functioning barangay information network and integrated community public safety system.”

The declaration was a breakthrough following an eight-month-long deployment of community support teams in the areas, in close coordination with the police, barangay officials and the local government units of both Davao City and Panabo City.

With the barangays now cleared, Torres said it is expected that the barangay council becomes more active in catering to the needs of the residents. The people, in turn, will support and participate in government programs and activities.
He said there should be “an active linkaging and networking among the local government units, agencies and people’s organizations for the efficient delivery of basic services and goods.”

The peace talks between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the Communist Party of the Philippines-National Democratic Front, meanwhile, are getting headway amid President Rodrigo Duterte’s 60-day deadline to craft a workable agreement or cancel the negotiations.

Presidential Peace Adviser Jesus Dureza said the backchannel talks between two parties are ongoing even if there seemed to be no movement in the formal peace talks. This time around, he said that they need to be more transparent to muster public support.

“History teaches us of many peace deals that suffered setbacks due to the lack of public support,” he said in a statement. “This is precisely why we decided to engage the public and have consultations with various sectors to protect those gains.”