Fort Magsaysay, Nueva Ecija – For the first time, a group of local media personalities from the Province of Aurora declared the CPP-NPA and its affiliated organizations as “persona non grata” in a ceremony conducted on September 28, 2019 at Barangay Calabuanan, Baler, Aurora.
Said media group is called the Kaugnay Media Defense Corps. Incorporated (KMDCI) – Aurora Chapter. The group supports the Philippine Army, through their active dessimination of the people's welfare-centered activities of the 91st Infantry (Sinagtala) Battalion, 7th Infantry (Kaugnay) Division, Philippine Army.
Lieutenant Colonel Jose Marie Torrenueva II, the Commanding Officer of the 91IB, presided over the signing of the declaration of the persona non grata, with the KMDCI-Aurora as signatories, led by their newly-elected President, Richard F. Serqueña.
Mr. Jun Garcia, the KMDCI over-all president, came to witness the event, along with other KMDCI chapter officers from the provinces of Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Tarlac and Bulacan. The Central Luzon Media Association (CLMA) Region III, with their President, Ms. Mel Ciriaco, also witnessed the declaration.
It can be recalled that Aurora Province was the first to declare the CPP-NPA terrorists (CNTs) as persona non grata among the provinces in Region 3 which are under the area of responsibility of the 7ID. This time around, the province’s media group has done the same, true to the spirit of standing one with the government, under Executive Order No. 70 or the “whole-of-nation approach” to end the local communist armed conflict.
Mr. Jason De Asis, former President of KMDCI Aurora and now a member of the Board of the KMDCI, said that for him, as a media man and a parent, making a firm stand on the problem of insurgency is vital, for he does not want the public and his children’s future to be compromised because of the CNTs.
Major General Lenard T. Agustin AFP, Commander of 7ID, PA, said that the KMDCI’s commitment to support the Army and the government in their thrust to end the local communist armed conflict is a true indication of how the “whole of nation approach” has finally broken down the barriers that hinder the people’s understanding of how peace should be achieved.
“It seems that now, everyone understands that peace is a shared responsibility, and that all of us must play our part so that we can achieve and maintain peace within communities, and in the whole country. I am truly thankful to KMDCI Aurora for their initiative & boldness to do this, and in setting a good example to the people of what responsible journalism should be all about,” the 7ID Commander said.
Lieutenant Colonel Torrenueva II expressed his heartfelt gratitude to the KMDCI-Aurora Chapter. He said that through media broadcasting, convincing the rebels to end the armed struggle and return to their families has become more possible as they (the rebels) get to hear about the benefits that await them and the new life they can have through the help of the government and other concerned agencies.
The following day, KMDCI Aurora conducted a tree-growing activity at Barangay Dianawan, Maria Aurora. The activity was conducted in cooperation with the Department of Environment (DENR), represented by Ms. Grace Padua of the City Environment & Natural Resources Office (CENRO) of Aurora.
The other KMDCI chapters, along with the CLMA, and the 91IB troops, with their Battalion Commander, also participated in the tree-growing activity as a support to the National Greening Program of the government.
Around 200 fruit-bearing trees were planted in a small part of the the 50-hectare land allotted for the plantation adoption program of the DENR. The site will see more tree-growing activities in the months to come as KMDCI Aurora planned to do more tree plantings in the future.