The military has cleared 21 barangays in Davao City of insurgency problem following eight-month close collaboration with the local government led by Mayor Inday Sara Duterte and other stakeholders.

Col. Ernesto Torres Jr., commander of the Army’s 1003rd Brigade, said the barangay level efforts complement the top-level peace talks between the government and the communist group.

“While there is an ongoing high level peace talks, the troops on the ground are also gaining grounds toward attainment of the elusive peace in the barangay level,” Torres said.

The 21 previously classified as insurgency-affected barangays are from the districts of Toril, Calinan, Baguio, Marilog and Tugbok.

These are Alambre, Bangkas Heights, Bato, Bayabas, Eden, Marapangi, Mulig, Sirawan and Tagurano — all in Toril; barangays Riverside and Sirib in Calinan; barangays Carmen, Tawan-tawan and Baguio proper in Baguio District; barangays Bantol, Buda and Marilog proper in Marilog, and the villages of Angalan, Manambulan, New Carmen and Tagakpan in Tugbok.

“The successful clearing was finally reached as a result of the eight-month-long community support team deployment of the military, in close collaboration with the police, barangay officials and the Davao City government in addressing the issues that gave rise to insurgency,” Torres said.

“With the clearing of the barangays, it is expected that the barangay councils become active in catering to the needs of the residents, support and participate in government programs and activities; and there is an active networking and link among the LGUs, LGAs, NGOs and POs for the efficient delivery of basic goods and services for the local populace,” he added.

The clearing of the 21 barangays from insurgency problem was upon the recommendation of the Area Clearing Validation Board (ACVB) composed of officers from 1003rd Infantry Brigade, Davao City Police Office and barangay captains from the concerned 21 barangays.

The ACVB unanimously declared and signed through a resolution that the 21 villages have met all the parameters for the clearing of insurgency-affected barangays to include the dismantling of the CPP-NPA politico-military structure; the denial of the CPP-NPA access, resources and manpower, including mass base support; and the establishment of a functioning barangay information net and integrated community public safety system.

“The 1003rd Raptor Brigade shall remain an active partner of the Davao City government in the implementation of peace and development programs to sustain our gains in attaining lasting peace for the city,” Torres said.