Iloilo City council junks PNP bid to declare NPA persona non grata

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The communist New People’s Army will not be considered persona non grata in Iloilo City, at least for now.

Members of the city council junked a request by city police to declare the Communist Party of the Philippines’ armed wing as persona non grata.

Iloilo City police chief Police Colonel Martin Defensor had sought the declaration to make the CPP-NPA “unwelcome persons” in the city

Defensor had made the request in a letter dated May 10, where he sought the help of then 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.

But City Councilor Plaridel Nava, in junking the request, said there are no reports of CPP-NPA presence in the city.

“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.

Defensor, in his request, noted there are already some local government units in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao that declared the CPP-NPA as persona non grata.

“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.

Still, Nava said he could not understand the motive of Defensor for asking such request. As such, the council merely noted Defensor’s letter.