November 24, 2020 - Tuesday
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Davao City, Philippines

Davao City hails capture of 2 NPA rebels

November 20, 2020 - Friday 12:11 PM by PNA

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DAVAO CITY – The local government lauded the capture of two young members of the communist New People’s Army (NPA) in Sitio Quibolog, Barangay Mapula here last Nov. 14.

In a statement Thursday night, the city government said the capture of Nasria Bansil and Geliejorain Ngojo "unmasked and exposed the true face" of the Mindanao Interfaith Services Foundation Inc. (MISFI) and the Haran Center of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP) in Davao City.

Bansil and Ngojo were both scholars of MISFI and have served as part-time teachers for indigenous children and the elderly currently staying at the compound of Haran Center.

Authorities said two were recruited early this year to become full-time cadres of the terrorist group.

“The City Government of Davao commends the men and women of the 27th Infantry Battalion for the recent successful operations against the New People’s Army in Paquibato District,” the statement added.

As scholars, authorities said Bansin and Ngojo were made to sign a "return service" contract, binding them to serve and volunteer with organizations allied with the scholarship donor.

Before finishing college in 2019, both Bansil and Ngojo volunteered twice with Haran, teaching what they called "Litnum" or basic literacy and numeracy education.

“Clearly, MISFI and Haran played important and active roles in recruiting Bansil and Ngojo into the underground terrorist movement. These organizations primed and prepared Bansil and Ngojo into joining a terrorist group that has perpetuated the condition of poverty and underdevelopment across upland communities of indigenous peoples," the local government said.

State security forces have long accused MISFI schools such as Salugpungan Ta Tanu Igkanugon Community Learning Center (STTICLC) of teaching NPA ideologies for years while serving as training and recruitment centers for the NPA.

On the one hand, Haran has been accused of sheltering indigenous peoples (IP) from various parts of Mindanao that are allegedly sympathetic to the NPA to derail military operations in areas where the NPAs operates.

The local government said Haran's coddling of groups linked to the NPA was "a tactic straight from the playbook" of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDF), the Communist Party of the Philippines CPP), and its allies.

“We reiterate the warning of the security sector about the existence and operations of groups that serve as recruitment arms and fronts of the NPA’s. These groups operate on the pretense of education, religion, human rights, environment, women empowerment, children’s rights — basically just like MISFI and Haran,” the statement said.

Meanwhile, the city government also cited various peace and development initiatives in hinterland areas where the rebels are regularly sighted, such as in the mountainous Paquibato District.

“Through Peace 911, we are providing the people in Paquibato with livelihood and economic opportunities, education, roads, bridges, community health centers, and other infrastructure projects,” it further said.

The city government also urged the Dabawenyos to reject individuals and organizations that hamper the city's development and participate in the "culture of security" campaign.

“Together, we should stand against individuals and organizations that, in the guise of selfless and pro-people acts, plant seeds of terrorism in our youth,” the local government said. Che Palicte