Council junks move to cite rebel group as persona non grata

COUNCILOR Plaridel Nava (Left) and POLICE Colonel Martin Defensor (Right)

By: Emme Rose Santiagudo

THE Sangguniang Panlungsod of Iloilo City refused to declare the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) as persona non grata.

During their session on Friday, the SP junked the request of Police Colonel Martin Defensor, Iloilo City Police Office (ICPO) director, to declare the CPP-NPA “unwelcome persons” in the city.

According to Councilor Plaridel Nava, there are no reports of CPP-NPA presence in the city of Iloilo.

“Why would the City Council pass a resolution declaring the CPP-NPA as Persona Non-Grata particularly in Iloilo City. In fact, there are no reports that there are CPP-NPA in the city. There are also no incidents that would show that criminalities are actually committed by the CPP-NPA,” he said.

In a letter dated May 10, 2019, Defensor asked the help of Mayor Jose Espinosa III in their campaign against terrorism.

“Although our city was declared as a white area, meaning there is no internal security threat, there is persistent information that CPP-NPA uses the city as a rest and recreational area,” the letter said.

There are already some local government units (LGUs) in the area of Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao that declared the CPP-NPA as persona non grata, according to Defensor.

“In this regard, we would like to solicit your support in our campaign against terrorism by requesting the city council to pass a resolution declaring the CPP-NPA as Persona-non-grata particularly in the city of Iloilo,” he said.

Nava said he couldn’t understand the motive of Defensor for asking such request.

“I don’t know which part of the law he is banking why he is asking for us to declare the CPP-NPA. The Congress would not even declare it as terrorists. I don’t know the motive of Defensor why he’s asking for that. On my part, as the floor leader I don’t want to recognize that,” he added.

The council merely noted Defensor’s letter.