The Philippine National Police (PNP) is constantly coordinating with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in its campaign to stifle the efforts of the New People’s Army (NPA) to reestablish a stronghold in the province which has been considered insurgency-free for a decade.
This was the assurance made by Cebu-based Police Regional Office 7 director Brig. Gen. Albert Ignatius Ferro on Tuesday when he visited Bohol to meet the province’s police command and for the inauguration of the Corella Police Station.
In a press briefing at Camp Francisco Dagohoy in Tagbilaran City, Ferro said they have been getting information on continued efforts of the Communist Party of the Philippines’ armed wing to regain significant presence in the province.
The region’s top cop said communist guerrillas have not made any contributions and have instead only disturbed the peace including in the government’s efforts to deliver aid to areas where livelihood have been largely affected by the pandemic.
“Just to tell everybody sa atong mga kaigsuonan diri sa Bohol, communism has never been an option para sa atong mga Filipino because for 51 years, it has done nothing for anyone,” said Ferro.
“In COVID-19 areas, they are stealing from the [convoys] and harassing DSWD personnel,” he added.
Ferro bared the need for being proactive in stamping rebel movement in the province whose economy is largely tourism driven.
“Magtinabangay ta especially dinhi sa Bohol which is a recognized place for tourism, this is a good hub for vacations, so if we will not be proactive in trying to prevent the recovery initiative of the CTG’s or the CPP-NPA-NDF movement here then we will have a big problem later on,” he said.
Bohol was a hotbed of the communist guerrilla movement in the 1990s but the government was able to crush the rebel group’s stronghold in the province in the late 2000s with the island being declared insurgency-free in 2010.
Since then, the province has emerged as one of the country’s top tourism draws.
However, reports of several sightings of armed men started to surface in 2018 with several minor clashes between the suspected members of the rebel group and state forces recorded. (A. Doydora)