DILG hits Makabayan bloc over refusal to denounce CPP-NPA-NDFP

Robie de Guzman   •   November 26, 2020   •   460

DILG Secretary Eduardo Año

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Thursday blasted the Makabayan bloc in the House of Representatives for its refusal to condemn the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) despite its alleged “horrendous crimes” against the people.

In a statement, DILG Secretary Eduardo Año expressed his dismay for the group’s “blind eye to the thousands of atrocities committed by the atheist communist-terrorist group.”

“If you cannot even condemn the perpetrators of these horrendous crimes against the people in your capacity as elected public officials, there is definitely something wrong,” Año said.

He also called the Makabayan bloc’s refusal to condemn and distance itself from the CPP and its allied organizations, the New People’s Army (NPA), and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) “a clear and indisputable betrayal of public trust” and an “insult” to the victims of the communist terrorism.

“As elected government officials receiving salary, emoluments, and benefits from the government, they are morally, ethically, and legally required to denounce the communist terrorists whose main objective is to overthrow the government that they are part of,” Año said.

In the recent Senate hearing on red-tagging, former Bayan Muna Partylist Representative and Bagong Alyansang Makabayan spokesperson Teddy Casiño refused to condemn the CPP-NPA-NDF and said they do not consider them as enemies.

Casiño and Zarate said declaring the communists as enemies would mean closing the door to “healthier engagements.”

Año said that the Makabayan bloc’s statements are “clear attempts to wash their hands of the blood of the thousands of victims of CPP-NPA-NDF atrocities through the years.”

“Nakakakilabot na tinatawag lamang nila ang walang habas na pagpatay ng mga inosenteng tao, mga pulis at sundalo bilang isang pamamaraan para kanilang tahasang maipahayag ang kanilang agenda,” Año said.

The DILG chief said the CPP-NPA-NDF is the biggest violator of human rights in the country.

Aside from killing soldiers, police and government officials, the party is also infamous for its internal purges which has killed some 3,000-7,000 lives including the Inopacan, Leyte massacre where 67 comrades were summarily executed upon orders of the CPP.

“As elected members of Congress, the so-called Makabayan Bloc are required under our Constitution and laws to denounce the CPP-NPA-NDF, why they refuse to do so reveals the truth about their organization and who actually controls them,” he added.

DILG extends deadline of road clearing ops to Jan. 22

Robie de Guzman   •   January 15, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Friday said it has granted a one-week extension on the deadline for the road clearing operations following requests by local government units (LGU) to give them more time to clear roads of obstructions.

The DILG said that instead of January 15, LGUs have been given until January 22 to complete their road clearing efforts.

“We extended the deadline for road clearing operations 2.0 because these are extraordinary times; we are in a pandemic and LGUs have a lot on their plate. We understand the request so the Department granted it,” DILG spokesperson Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said in a statement.

The DILG announced in November last year the resumption of nationwide road clearing operations, giving the LGUs 60 days to comply with President Rodrigo Duterte’s directive to rid streets of illegal obstructions.

“This is, in a way, a little help to the LGUs so that they have more time to comply with the President’s directive,” Malaya said.

The validation period will be on January 25 to February 5, he added.

DILG Secretary Eduardo Año previously said that the road clearing operations now are different due to the coronavirus pandemic.

He said full implementation of the road clearing operations is enforced in areas under modified general community quarantine. Partial implementation is executed in areas under general community quarantine while road clearing operations in areas under modified enhanced community quarantine and enhanced community quarantine are suspended.

Malaya said that prior to the start of the validation period, the DILG will create validation teams in coordination with the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), for each province, city and municipality.

“This time around mayroon tayong validation teams na established at cross-posted, meaning, kung taga-Quezon City sila hindi sila puwede mag-validate sa QC, dapat nasa Taguig City sila o alin mang ibang lungsod,” he said.

Among the validation requisites are the actual removal of road obstructions; enactment of an enabling ordinance; conduct of an inventory of road obstructions; crafting and implementation of a displacement plan; rehabilitation of cleared roads; creation of a grievance mechanism; as well as the Tricycle Route Plan, the DILG said.

PNP seizes alleged NPA arms cache in Palawan

Robie de Guzman   •   January 12, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Joint operations conducted by the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) yielded the recovery of an alleged New People’s Army (NPA) weapons cache in northern Palawan.

In a statement on Tuesday, PNP chief Police General Debold Sinas said troops from the PNP-Special Action Force’s (SAF) 101st Special Action Company, Police Regional Office 4B (PRO4B) and the military recovered high-powered firearms and war materials in the area of Sitio Lanka, Barangay Bintuan in Coron, Palawan around 4 a.m. on Saturday, January 9.

Among those seized were two M-16 assault rifles, four rifle grenades, magazine assemblies, a bandolier and 184 rounds of M-16 ammunition.

Sinas said the operation stemmed from actionable intelligence gathered by government troops regarding the whereabouts of the NPA’s cache of firearms and war materials in the said area.

“The continuous operations of our troops have resulted to the NPA’s weakened state. The latest confiscation of this cache of high-powered firearms further incapacitates their key operatives,” Sinas said.

The PNP chief  also commended the SAF in its successive efforts implementing the President Rodrigo Duterte’s Executive Order No. 70, which aims to end local communist armed conflict.

The rifles will be subjected to procedural ballistics examination to determine if these had been used in previous crime incidents, the PNP said.

DILG urges LGUs to resume road clearing to meet January 15 deadline

Robie de Guzman   •   January 11, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Monday called on local government units (LGU) to resume the nationwide road-clearing operations in their respective areas and expedite implementation as the 60-day deadline ends on January 15, 2021.

“Now that the holidays are over, we expect all LGUs to pick up where they left off in their road clearing operations. They were supposed to start November 16 last year up to January 15,” DILG Undersecretary and Spokesperson Jonathan Malaya said in a statement.

Malaya, however, stressed that while the deadline ends on January 15, the road clearing operation is a year-round activity that requires sustained effort and implementation.

“Balik trabaho na naman po tayo kaya kailangan nating seryosohin ang road clearing para sa mas maluwag na lansangan at para na rin sa kapakanan nating lahat,” he said.

According to the DILG Memorandum Circular (MC) No. 2020-145, areas under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) should fully implement the road-clearing operations by January 15, which means the implementation of all components of road clearing.

The circular also states that full implementation includes the removal of road and sidewalk obstructions, conduct of road inventories, physical removal of road obstructions without prejudice to the property rights of the affected stakeholders, crafting and implementation of displacement plans, rehabilitation, and maintenance of cleared roads, and creation of a grievance mechanism.

LGUs under general community quarantine (GCQ) are expected to do a partial implementation of the road clearing operations which is limited to the actual or physical removal or abatement of road and sidewalk obstructions that are considered hazardous to motorists and pedestrians.

These include unauthorized parked vehicles, illegal structures, nuisances, and any other structures erected along or standing on, made immovable or otherwise, that impede safe and convenient passage through public road or sidewalk.

Meanwhile, road clearing operations are suspended in areas under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) and enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

President Rodrigo Duterte retained the GCQ classification of the National Capital Region and Davao City effective January 1 until January 31, 2021, subject to LGUs’ appeals.

Also under GCQ are Isabela, Santiago City, Batangas, Iloilo City, Tacloban City, Lanao del Sur, Iligan City, and Davao del Norte.

All other areas are placed under MGCQ.

Malaya said that validation of provincial, city, and municipal compliance would be conducted from January 18 to 22, 2021.

Included in the items to be validated by the DILG Validation Teams are the Tricycle Route Plans in their respective areas to ensure that alternate routes are provided to tricycles which are prohibited by law from operating on national highways across the country.

“Sa pagpapatuloy po ng serbisyo sa bagong taon ay huwag po nating kalimutan ang pagkakaroon ng disiplina sa pagsusuot ng face mask at face shield, paghuhugas ng kamay at pag-distansya ng isang metro,” Malaya said.

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