IMPASUGONG, Bukidnon. May 18 –A total of 163 families left their homes to avoid New Peoples Army (NPA) propaganda in Bukidnon last May 16, 2020.

Due to the NPA’s presence in the area, 163 families are forced to temporarily leave their homes from Purok 7 (Sitio Sta Rita) and Purok 8 (Sitio San Roque) towards Sitio Malapgap all of Brgy Sinanglanan, Malaybalay City, Bukidnon.

Upon report of the concerned citizens, the Local Government of Malaybalay City immediately gave relief goods as the PNP and Army ensures safety of the community members.

The Sitio Leader revealed that the NPAs forced them to listen to propaganda as they discussed topics about socio-economic issues against the government and demanded to collect PhP 5.00 and half cavan of rice in every household in the area.

He also added that, “ Gusto sa mga NPA nga kami mahimong masa pero dili mi mosugot mao nga ninghawa kami sa amoang lugar.” (The NPAs would like us to become one of their supporters but we all refuse that’s why we vacate our community)

“Dako akong pagdayeg ug respeto sa mga katawhan sa Sitio San Roque ug Sitio Sta Rita sa ilang pagpangisog nga di muapil ug magpa ilad sa NPA. Atong kondenahon ang paglapas sa ilang katawhong katungod tungod kay dili dapat apil ang mga sibilyan matod pa sa International Humanitarian Law”, said Lt Col Edgardo V Talaroc Jr, Commanding Officer of 8th Infantry Battalion. (My admiration and respect goes to the people of Sitio San Roque and Sitio Sta Rita for their brave act not to join and avoid manipulation. Let us condemn this Human Rights violations especially that civilians are supposed to be protected as stated in International Humanitarian Law).

It can be noticed that similar trends are happening in other areas of Bukidnon wherein the people are fed up of NPAs’ presence due to extortion and violations of international humanitarian law against civilians and their properties. Because of these, more and more civilians are reporting NPA presence in their localities to the Army.