On Thursday, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año encouraged local chief executives (LCEs) to allow the display of anti-communist tarpaulins in their cities.
When asked about Moreno’s order to remove tarpaulins declaring communist groups persona non grata in Metro Manila, Año said, “As to the action of [Manila] Mayor Isko Moreno, he must have his own reasons, but I would encourage LCEs to allow it. As I said, these tarpaulins are peaceful expressions of our people.”
“If you are not a member of the CPP/NPA/NDF [Communist Party of the Philippines, New People’s Army, and the National Democratic Front], then you have nothing to worry about,” he added.
Several banners and tarpaulins saying the CPP-NPA-NDF is not welcome were spotted in various areas in Metro Manila this week. They were found from NCR’s borders along the North Luzon Expressway to Marcos Highway, C-5 Road, and Manila City, among other places.
The one displayed along Roxas Boulevard had logos of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC).
PNP Chief Gen. Camilo Cascolan said the tarpaulins were a project by the NTF-ELCAC, in coordination with the communities.
Año encourages local execs to allow anti-communist tarps
On Wednesday, Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso ordered the Manila City-wide removal of the said tarpaulins.
“We spread love, not hate, in this time of pandemic,” Moreno said, as relayed by Manila Public Information Office.
The interior chief expressed support on displaying banners against the CPP-NPA-NDF, noting that the communist rebels should return to their “peaceful lives.”
“I believe that these tarpaulins are expressions or manifestations of citizens or certain groups that they are already fed up with abuses and atrocities perpetrated by the CPP/NPA/NDF. I welcome such kind of expression to send the message to the [members] of CPP/NPA/NDF that they are not welcome in the national capital region, just like the constituents of other provinces, cities, and municipalities all over the country did,” he said.
“It’s time for the communist rebels to go back to the fold of the law and start peaceful and productive life,” Año added.