Davao City’s Peace 911 on Tuesday hailed the move of the officials and residents of two villages in Paquibato District in declaring the communist New People’s Army (NPA) as persona non grata.

Lawyer Elisa Lapina, the Focal Person of Peace 911, said it was a positive development taking place in Paquibato District as the city continues in making the once NPA stronghold a peace and development zone.

Lapina said she has talked to the leaders and the people of the two villages to make sure that the decision was their own and they were not forced or intimidated by the soldiers.

“We are truly happy with the response of the community to the efforts of the city government. They were really the ones who volunteered to make such declaration and to (abandon) the NPA, choosing development to allow their areas to prosper,” she said.

She added that several other barangays in Paquibato District also manifested to declare the NPA person non grata.

Colonel Nolasco Mempin, the commander of the 1003rd Infantry Brigade, said the positive response of the people of Colosas and Tapak is a welcome development and will let peace prosper in the communities.

“It shows that our communities, through their local leaders expressed abhorrence to violence, intimidation, and the sufferings caused by the insurgents,” Mempin said.

The declaration came barely five months after Colosas and Tapak were declared insurgency-free, alongside 12 other barangays in Paquibato District. CIO