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Beating a dead horse

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THE REGIONAL Development Council and the Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC) issued a joint resolution declaring the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) as “Persona Non-Grata” or “Undesirable” in Central Luzon.

So reported the Philippine Information Agency, Region 3 last week.

“The joint resolution also condemned, to the highest form, the unlawful and illegal activities of communist rebels who have been pestering businesses and peace-loving citizens in the countryside in Central Luzon,” the PIA report quoted Carlito Galvez Jr., Cabinet Officer for the Regional Development and Security.

This, even as it was reported too that “police records showed no significant activities initiated by the communist rebels have been reported in previous years up to the present.”

“In fact, NPA rebels seems to have ceased its existence in the region even during the recent May elections.” So was Brig. Gen. Joel Napoleon Coronel, director of the Police Regional Office 3, quoted as saying.

Is this a case of beating a dead horse?

In January 2014, no less than the Armed Forces of the Philippines already declared the entire Northern Luzon area “rebel-free.” This, after the announcement that Pampanga province became the 22nd province to be declared “insurgency-free.”

The Northern Luzon Command said other provinces in Regions 1, 2, 3 and Cordillera were declared rebel-free between 2009 and 2013: La Union and Nueva Viscaya in 2009; Apayao, Aurora, Quirino, Tarlac, Nueva Ecija, Pangasinan and Kalinga in 2010; Ilocos Norte and Benguet in 2011; Zambales, Abra, and Bataan in 2012; and Batanes, Ilocos Sur, Isabela, Cagayan, Ifugao, Bulacan, and Mt. Province in 2013. (See “Military says Northern Luzon “insurgency-free” philstar.com, Jan. 16, 2014)

“This signifies our victorious quest against poverty and the plight of the people caused by rebel forces. This also puts an end to our 45 years of battle against insurgency,” so enthused then AFP Chief of Staff General Emmanuel Bautista.

If the communist insurgency has indeed ended, why the need for all these declarations of persona non grata and undesirable tags impacted upon the CPP-NPA?

Maybe, it’s not a dead horse the AFP is dealing with after all. It can well be the mythical Hydra that grows back two heads for each one that’s cut.

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