ON orders of Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo M. Año, Philippine National Police intelligence agents are monitoring candidates in the May 13 national and local elections who are directly or indirectly providing support to the New People’s Army and other enemies of the state, the Journal Group learned yesterday.
PNP chief Director General Oscar D. Albayalde has aired his full support to the DILG’s call for voters to reject candidates supporting the NPA in the coming mid-term polls while ordering his men to be on the full lookout for politicians known for their “unholy alliance” with the rebels.
Albayalde also ordered a stepped up drive against partisan armed groups, loose firearms and organized crime gangs amid a noted surge of killings of politicians in recent months which appears to be politically-motivated, some of them even involving suspected active and inactive NPA rebels.
The DILG, the Armed Forces and the PNP leaderships have called on voters to reject candidates with known links to the CPP/NPA, specifically those who are being supported by groups identified by self-exiled CPP founding chairman Jose Ma. Sison as among their “front organizations.”
Sec. Año has reminded all governors, mayors and all candidates in the 2019 mid-term elections to steer clear of “directly or indirectly” giving financial, material and political support to the Communist Party of the Philippines and its armed wing, the NPA, specifically payment of the so-called “permit-to-campaign” fees as it is a clear violation of the law.
“You do not need them to win nor to campaign. What you need is a robust platform and a desire to serve the people within your jurisdiction,” he said.
The DILG has released a memorandum reminding all local chief executives and LGU officials that giving any form of support to communist rebels is a violation not only of Executive Order 733 but also of Republic Act 10168.
In the order, Año directed all Regional, Provincial, City and Municipal Peace and Order Councils to apply moral suasion or to recommend sanctions against LCEs supporting communist rebels.
Those who reject the NPA demand are subjected to harassment by the rebels, security officials said.
According to rebel documents discovered by the government, the NPA’s standard permit-to-campaign fee are the following: P20 million for presidential candidates; P10 million for vice president; P2 million for senators; P300,000 to P650,000 for members of the House of Representatives; P300,000 to P650,000 for gubernatorial candidates; P75,000 to P100,000 for vice gubernatorial bets; P50,000 to P60,000 for Board members;
P200,000 to P500,000 for city mayors and vice mayors; P50,000 to P100,000 for municipal mayors; P25,000 to P50,000 for municipal vice mayors.
The DILG and the PNP leaderships have called on the public to join hands with the government in fighting “communist terrorists and extremists” who are all waging a massive destabilization effort.
“I firmly believe that now, more than ever is the time that the media and the government must hold hands and commit to fight a common enemy -- the extremists, the communists, and the terrorists who threaten the future of our children,” Año said during a press conference at Camp Crame last Thursday.
Año accused the CPP/NPA/NDF in “hiding behind pro-people propaganda, in the guise of legal entities with legitimate agenda yet have the grimmest plan of actions waiting to be executed.”
“I have a personal plea to everyone. You may think that the battle against Communist Terrorist Groups (CTGs) can be won only through military efforts , ngunit sinasabi ko po sa inyo na, for the Philippines to win this battle and attain lasting peace, the government needs all of you, all civic-minded Filipinos to do your share. We need all the help we can get.
“Huwag po nating suportahan ang mga gawain ng mga makakaliwa, ng mga terorista, ng mga CTG. Huwag po nating iluklok ang mga kandidatong may kaugnayan sa mga komunistang group. Maging sa lokal na pamahalaan man, sa Senado, Kongreso at maging mga party-list groups na makakaliwa. Sa ganitong paraan po ay makakatulong tayo sa sa pagsugpo sa komunismo/terorismo tungo sa pangmatagalang kapayapaan sa bansa,” he said.
Año said they have the names of 349 local officials from all regions who are purportedly supporting the NPA movement by giving them financial aid.
“’Yun po ay 349 na lokal na opisyal na nagbibigay ng pera sa mga komunista/terorista kaya naman patuloy silang nakakapag-operate.
“Can you imagine that? Our own government officials giving funds to the enemy.
“As a soldier, I have seen how they operate, it hasn’t changed. It will not change for that’s how they operate and organize mass-based -- to destabilize the government in a high-functioning society by propagating fear and toppling its leadership. Huwag po tayong magpakaloko,” the former AFP chief of staff said.
“These communists and terrorists for so long have continued to exist unfortunately because of the support they are receiving from brainwashed citizens through their extortion activities. Panahon na para tapusin ito at ang inyong pakikiisa sa layunin na ito ay lubhang napakahalaga upang ito ay makamit,” he added.