VP Sara hits reds anew, likens NPA to devil

Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte takes a
Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte takes a "selfie" with the Dabawenyos at Rizal Park in Davao City on Wednesday. Duterte graced Davao City's first year anniversary celebration as insurgency-free city. CIO

Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte slammed the New People’s Army (NPA) anew and compared communist group to the “devil.”

In her speech during the celebration of the first anniversary of Insurgency-Free Davao City at Rizal Park, Davao City on Wednesday, the vice president condemned what she calls as “monstrosity of its terrorist acts over the past 53 years.”

“New People’s Army. These are three words that, as much as possible, I once avoided mentioning. Why because I did not want to dignify its presence or acknowledge the monstrosity of its terrorist acts over the past 53 years. I thought that mentioning “New People’s Army” added more air into their swollen state of madness and encouraged them to unleash more destruction and death and string another cycle of violence for the people to suffer from. But I realized that we needed to speak of the devil,” the vice president said.

Duterte, who was recently appointed co-vice chair of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), also described the NPA as a dying movement.

“The NPA’s so-called protracted war is ending. The guerrilla warfare tactic is no longer working for them to be able to breathe life into a dying movement. The stench of its doom and imminent demise is repulsive, but something that we anticipate with most profound excitement,” she said.

In her message, she also recalled the city government of Davao’s efforts when she was Davao City’s mayor in eradicating the rebel group’s presence in the Paquibato District through Peace 911.

Launched in 2019, Peace 911, a civilian-led program, empowers the people of Paquibato through projects and programs that offered them the opportunity to become productive, provided them with livelihood, made them discover new skills, capacitated women, and built their confidence as individuals and as a community.

“Our story in Paquibato District is one for the books. It is a shining example of a successful anti-terrorism campaign made possible by the collaboration of various sectors through the program Peace 911 by the local government of Davao,” Duterte said.

Peace 911 ushered in the development of the Paquibato District while addressing the fundamental issue of poverty.

“Lest we forget, this terrorist group leeches on the people’s condition of poverty, feeding on their misery as they advance their violent causes. Nakabalo kita nga ang masa, ang mga katawhan, sila ang sandigan ug ginasaligan sa mga teroristang NPA. Ug kung moingon ang masa nga tama na, undangon na nato kini, gikapoy na kami — human na ang away. Sa Davao City, human na ang away,” she said.

The vice president expressed admiration and gratitude to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) for successfully ending the insurgency in Davao City.

In March last year, the army declared Davao City as “insurgency-free” after years of fighting the communist insurgents.

“Today, we commemorate and celebrate our people’s commitment to the noble principles of freedom and social justice that liberate us from the threats of extremism. Now, we are presented with limitless possibilities for Paquibato and the entire city, taking advantage of the gains of peace to fortify our city and secure the life of the Dabawenyos,” Duterte said.

She ended her message hoping that one day soon, Filipinos will wake up to the news that the entire Philippines is already NPA terrorist-free.

“Let us make this happen,” she said.

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