By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
Moises Padilla Mayor Magdaleno Peña yesterday morning called on residents of Negros Occidental to rise up against the New People’s Army (NPA), saying the rebel group will never stop until they are rooted out.
He also characterized the NPA as not being serious when it comes to peace talks, saying their only goal is to take over the government.
Peña challenged the rebel group to become politicians and run for office if they intend on taking over.
When asked about reports claiming he was on an NPA hit list, he said it was a “compliment,” saying it shows he is an effective leader.
Earlier intelligence reports, leaked from Police Regional Office-18 (PRO-18), showed Peña was a target for liquidation by the NPA.
The municipal mayor had previously sent a proposal to President Rodrigo Duterte to deputize licensed gun owners to combat the NPA, however, Philippine Army 3rd Infantry Division (3ID) commander, Major General Jon Aying, opposed the idea, saying, he believes the setup may evolve into a private armed group./WDJ