Credit to Author: Tempo Desk| Date: Sun, 13 Jan 2019 07:51:17 +0000
PAYING “permit-to-campaign fees’’ to communist rebels is tantamount to supporting terrorism.
This was the stern warning of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) to all governors, mayors and all political aspirants directly or indirectly giving financial, material and political support to communist rebels.
DILG assistant secretary and spokesman Jonathan Malaya reminded all electoral candidates that such violations will be considered as terroristic acts that carry the stiffest sanctions as stated in the Constitution.
He said all political aspirants should not be made as tools for these unlawful acts, asserting the “practice becomes an opportunity to these non-state actors to raise funds to fuel their campaign against the government they wish to overthrow’’.
“Secretary Eduardo Año has issued Memorandum Circular 2018-211 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 RA 10168,” he said.
“Many re-electionists are in the heat of campaign mood, whether discreetly or openly, as the May 2019 midterm elections near. Paalala lang po na huwag magpaloko at magbayad ng ‘permit to campaign’ or ‘permit to win’ sa mga komunistang grupo na itinuturing ng gobyerno na mga terorista,” said Malaya.
In his memorandum, Año directed all regional, provincial, city and municipal peace and order councils to apply moral suasion or to recommend sanctions against local chief executives who are known to have supported communist rebels.
Saying that this practice has long been in existence in Philippine politics, Malaya branded such acts as unpatriotic where rebels demand money from political candidates in exchange for trouble-free campaign sorties in the hinterlands where the terrorist groups operate.
He emphasized the scheme is clearly a form of extortion and is repugnant to the right of suffrage not only of the candidates but of the voters as well.
“The DILG is calling all LGUs and law enforcement agencies to ensure that all candidates and political parties are allowed unhampered entrance in every LGU and to ensure the peace and order in all areas, including those considered as hotbeds of insurgency, so that all candidates and political parties are given access to the electorate during the campaign period without intimidation or manipulation by any group,” he added.
Section 4 of the Republic Act (RA) No. 10168, otherwise known as “The Terrorism Financing Prevention and Suppression Act of 2012,” states that: “Any person who, directly or indirectly, willfully and without lawful excuse, possesses, provides, collects or uses property or funds or makes available property, funds or financial service or other related services, by any means, with the unlawful and willful intention that they should be used or with the knowledge that they are to be used, in full or in part: (a) to carry out or facilitate the commission of any terrorist act; (b) by a terrorist organization, association or group; or (c) by an individual terrorist, shall be guilty of the crime of financing of terrorism.”
Those found guilty of committing the said provision of RA 10168 shall suffer the penalty of reclusion temporal in its maximum period to reclusion perpetua and a fine of not less than P500,000 nor more than P1-million. (Chito Chavez)