I AM a native of Sultan Kudarat province in Mindanao and it saddens me to learn that the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) operating in my province have become part of the problem, instead of the solution, for the local folks’ socio-economic progress.
The government, through the Department of Public Works and Highways, has embarked on massive road-building projects in the towns of Isulan, Bagumbayan, Sen. Ninoy Aquino, among other localities in Sultan Kudarat.
The completion of said national infrastructure projects are expected to bring economic progress to the people of Sultan Kudarat as long paved roads would enable local farmers and other entrepreneurs to easily transport their products to the local markets and other commercial establishments.
In other words, there would be an expected increase in local business activity that corresponds to new employment opportunities and increased local economic activity via improved production and transport of local products.
But the problem is that all these DPWH-initiated road projects are being hampered by the CPP-NPA’s extortion activities against private contractors, harassing their workers and burning their equipment if they fail to accede to the terrorists’ demands.
These extortion activities are being undertaken by members of the NPA’s Guerilla Front 73 operating in Sultan Kudarat engaged in extortion, arson and other forms of banditry.
If the road projects are stalled due to the extortion and harassment activities by the NPAs, their propaganda people would simply lay the blame on the government and its officials for alleged graft and corruption.
That is now how the CPP-NPA works, extort money from the people and private businesses, stall government infrastructure projects and keep the people poor in areas where they operate, and blame the government for it.