No ‘shadow govt’
in New Bataan
New Bataan Mayor Lorenzo Balbin has expressed strong exceptions to military allegation the communist New People’s Army (NPA) operates a shadow government in his municipality.
This is a baseless, irresponsible statement, said Balbin, according to Governor Arturo “Chiongkee” Uy. Uy had asked Balbin to respond to the military claim.
Balbin’s denial comes as the military said New Bataan, where the NPAs killed six troopers in ambush last week, is now the center of rebel operations in the Davao Region.
Major Gen. Jogy Leo Fojas, commanding general of the 10th Infantry Division, in a press conference in Davao City last week, said a communist shadow government now exist in New Bataan with some government officials, whom he did not name, supporting the NPA.
Earlier, during a Peace Forum last month in Nabunturan town, the military said 39 barangays in Compostela Valley are rebel-influenced, a fact known to barangay captains who are either afraid of the rebels or are supportive of the insurgents.
There is no shadow government in my area, said Balbin. The government is imposing strong sanctions against local government officials supporting the communists as contained in Executive Order No. 79, which reorganized the Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC). RPOC chairman Davao del Sur Governor Douglas Cagas in an RPOC meeting last week said he has been furnished by military the list of local officials and businessmen aiding the NPAs and warned strong actions against them.
Fojas said the NPAs in Compostela Valley are highly-financed by support of some government officials and by extortion from owners of banana plantations, construction firms, logging and mining operations.
Earlier, the military confirmed the NPAs transferred their center of operations in Compostela Valley from Boston in Davao Oriental to New Bataan, where top leader Menardo “Ka Nelson” Villanueva is said to be holed up.
Meanwhile, Uy condemned the killing by the NPAs of a farmer and a four-year old boy on Friday in a remote village in New Bataan.
“This atrocity should marshal our people to rise up against communist,” said Uy.