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The campaign to declare the Cordillera Peoples Alliance (CPA) as persona non grata (PNG) in Mountain Province shows the dictatorial character of the military and national line agencies under Duterte’s "whole of nation approach."

December 5, 2020

In their effort to force local officials to support their baseless allegations and red-tagging spree, the 54th Infantry Battalion is spreading lies on social media. The unit claimed the province supported their lobbying at the Provincial Peace and Order Council for CPA to become unwanted.

However, the official post of the provincial LGU on the key unities at the meeting unmasked their lies. Contrary to the military's claim, there was no mention of such support nor declaration for the PNG.

Worst, the provincial office of the Department of Interior and Local Government, wanting to get "pogi" points, wrote LGUs urging them to support such vile and undemocratic move. The office went on to ask the municipal mayors to spend for tarpaulins to red-tag CPA and its member organizations, by lumping it with the armed revolutionary movement.

The 54th IB and DILG wanted to undermine the earlier stand of the province upholding the right to organize and the rule of law.

Back in October, the province declared the act of Mayor Gabino Ganggangan banning CPA and its members in Sadanga as unlawful. Fully aware of the law, the Provincial Board underscored that there is no legal basis to restrict the activities of CPA based on unsubstantiated claim of its alleged recruitment for the New People's Army.

In 2018, the province also stood with CPA when the Department of Justice included its past and current leaders in the petition to proscribe the CPP-NPA as terrorist organizations. Provincial legislators attested to CPA's advocacy and untainted service of its leaders to the Cordillera communities.

Their desperation to undermine the people's movement and CPA's contributions to the indigenous peoples' struggle has driven them to show their true nature - liars, dictators and opportunists.

Contrary to the claims of 54th IB that progressives are the threat peace and security, records would show that the army unit, its men, are responsible for sexual assaults,. encampment inside communities and threats against individuals.

Meanwhile, the provincial DILG has turned a blind eye on ensuring supremacy of civilian authority over martial rule. By condoning the military's act, it has rendered itself inutile and unfit to ensure the welfare of LGUs and the people.#

Cordillera Peoples Alliance - Mountain Province

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