Govt warns BSKE candidates vs NPA “permits” to win post
LE October 27, 2023
Campaigning for personalities belonging to communist terrorist groups (CTGs) vying for elective positions in the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE) slated this coming Monday is highly discouraged, and even candidates that fall prey to the extortion scheme of “permit to campaign” and “permit to win” by the New People’s Army (NPA) will face the full force of the law, Major General Edgar Alan Okubo of the Directorate for Police Community Relations (DPCR) warned Friday (October 27, 2023). “Dito naman po sa mga kakandidato natin na maaaring ma-engage ng mga tinatawag na CTGs para sa kanilang permit to win, permit to campaign, gusto namin silang paalalahan na ang pagbibigay po ng finances para dito sa mga CTGs ay punishable po sa ating batas partikular sa Section 4 ng Republic Act 10168, o ang Anti-Terror Financing Act of 2012, o ‘yung RA 11479, o Anti-Terrorism Law of 2020,” Okubo said. “Mako-consider po kayong nagsu-support o nagpi-finance dito sa terorismo, sa mga CTGs, dahil meron po tayong regulasyon, batas o panuntunan na sila po’y mga miyembro ng terorismo, considered bilang miyembro ng terrorist organizations ng iba’t-ibang bansa,” he added. Although Okubo said the PNP “has no records of election-related plans and activities of the CTGs”, the police will not let its guard down from protecting and securing the integrity and sanctity of votes of the BSKE. “Actually, pati nga po ‘yung permit to win at permit to campaign, wala pa po kaming nabasa o dumating dito sa opisina para ma-address po ‘yan although nakahanda po kami na i-monitor o tugunan ‘yung mga issues na lalabas na ganyan,” he said. Okubo said the NPA strength nationwide based on the directorate’s intelligence data has severely dwindled to 1,529 rebels. Of the number, only 707 in Luzon, 575 in Visayas, and 247 in Mindanao. The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has been on the verge of eliminating the only remaining active NPA front, the Front Committee 1, in Northern Samar which the Army aimed to dismantle on or before the end of this year. “Aside dun sa ating binabantayan na areas sa Northern Samar, meron din tayong tinatawag na 19 guerrilla fronts that have been considered weak. Weak pa lang naman ‘yun, so we continuously monitor them,” Okubo said. These are found in the Ilocos-Cordillera areas, Tarlac-Zambales, Southern Tagalog, Panay Island, Samar Island, Negros highlands, Misamis Occidental, CARAGA, and Region 12. Although these fronts have been weakened in said areas, Okubo said NPA remnants can still operate to extort money from candidates who are willing to give out of fear or causing inconvenience in their campaign sorties. Last October 23, Okubo said the PNP, AFP and Philippine Coast Guard upon the supervision of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) conducted “simultaneous send-off” missions of personnel to all identified “election areas of concern” like Abra and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM). At least 800 more personnel are on standby to augment the needed requirement to be sent to BARMM. “Sinasabing medyo kulang ang tropa dun dahil (kailangan ng assistance) ‘yung mga teachers at election supervisors,” he said.
“As far as the Philippine National Police is concerned, it’s all systems go,” he added. Meanwhile, National Youth Commission (NYC) chairman Undersecretary Ronald Gian Carlo Cardema appealed to voters to elect deserving candidates to become youth leaders of the country and not those who desired to bring down the government. “Bakit kayo papasok sa gobyerno kung ang gusto niyo pala ay pabagsakin ang gobyerno,” Cardema said, referring to candidates who had CTG orientations. He emphasized that what the country needs are youth leaders who actively participate in nation building, not to infiltrate the government and destroy it. Cardema said President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. authored the Youth and Nation Building Act of 1995 that subsequently created the NYC. Then a senator, the president also authored the SK Reform law. “Alam niyo, kakaunti na lang naman ang mga NPA ngayon through the efforts of the NTF-ELCAC, AFP at PNP, talagang nag-dwindle na ‘yung fighters nila. Sa paghina nila, paano sila nagko-cope up? Nilalakasan nila ang recruitment sa hanay ng mga kabataaan. Ang recruits ay sapilitang pinapapunta sa komunidad to replenish their ranks,” he said.
NTF-ELCAC MEDIA BUREAU Ref: Joel M. Sy Egco 09155506969 October 27, 2023