DILG monitoring candidates in sample ballots in NPA areas
The Department of Interior and Local Government ( DILG) on Thursday said it will be a "red flag" for candidates whose name will be found on sample ballots circulating in rebel infested areas.
Interior undersecretary Jonathan Malaya, in a press conference, said based on their intelligence report, there are less politicians involving themselves with the Communist Party of the Philippines- New People’s Army- National Democratic Front ( CPP-NPA-NDF).
Malaya said most politicians who give support to the rebels came from provinces of Cordillera, Bicol, Quezon, Eastern Visayas and Eastern Mindanao.
“Nonetheless, there are still candidates who have acceded to their extortion demands and are now in collusion with them to ensure both their victory and those candidates endorsed by the CPP-NPA-NDF,” Malaya said.
He said the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines are gathering evidence against those politicians as they will be held liable after the election if found they are supporting or conniving with the rebels.
“The AFP and PNP are now closely monitoring the sample ballots of these candidates. If their sample ballots are openly distributed in rebel infested areas, that is a red flag,” he said.
Malaya added that it is another red flag for candidates whose sample ballots have the names of those being endorsed by the rebels.
He said red flags merit an investigation by the DILG.
“A red flag is not the evidence itself. It simply requires an investigation. It will prompt (an investigation),” he said.
“Once we validated all of these reports and we have enough evidences then we will give figures but for this, we are still in the middle of the election period,” said Malaya.
Due to the decrease in the number of extortion activities, he said their campaign can be said to be effective.
“At the end of election and once we have our evidences ready, once the AFP and PNP submitted it to us, we will file necessary charges against them,” he said.
“We can have them removed from office after they have assumed office,” he added.
Police Colonel Bernard Banac, the PNP spokesperson, said officials that will be found out conniving with the rebels will face charges of RA 10168 (Crime of financing of terrorism) and rebellion.
“Aside from the crime of financing of terrorism or RA 10168, the act of giving any amount or item of value to the CPP-NPA is tantamount to disloyalty punishable under the Revised Penal Code,” Banac said. Ella Dionisio/DMS