Credit to Author: besguerra| Date: Sun, 13 Jan 2019 21:32:48 +0000
The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) warned of sanctions against local government executives and other candidates for elective posts who paid “permit to campaign” fees or provide other forms of support to communist rebels.
In a statement on Sunday, DILG spokesperson Jonathan Malaya said a memorandum circular had been issued reminding all local officials to avoid directly or indirectly giving financial, material and political support to the New People’s Army (NPA), which the government had long considered a terrorist group.
Permit to campaign
According to Malaya, based on Interior Secretary Eduardo Año’s issuance, the act of paying “permit to campaign” or even “permit to win” fees to the NPA was a violation of Republic Act No. 10168, or the “Terrorism Financing Prevention and Suppression Act of 2012.”
Violation of the law is punishable by reclusion temporal to reclusion perpetua, and a fine of P500,000 to P1 million.
In his memorandum circular, 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.”
Malaya said that the NPA extortion scheme of demanding money from candidates in exchange for them to campaign freely in certain areas was “repugnant to the right [to] suffrage, not only of candidates, but of the individual voters as well.”
He added, “This practice becomes an opportunity [for] these nonstate actors (NPA) to raise funds to fuel their campaign against the government they wish to overthrow.”
The DILG spokesperson warned that the DILG could also seek the disqualification of candidates based on the Omnibus Election Code.