Interior Secretary Eduardo Año on Monday warned local candidates not to pay permit-to- campaign or permit-to-win fees to communist insurgents, stressing doing so will put them in hot water.
During President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s Talk to the People, Año said the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) issued a memorandum circular to the local government units (LGUs), reminding them on the matter in connection with the ongoing election campaign period.
“Ang pinakauna po dito ay ang pagbabawal sa lahat ng kandidato, maging bagong kandidato o kasalukuyang nanunungkulan, na huwag magbibigay ng kahit anong tulong o pabor sa mga tinatawag na communist terrorist group particularly na po ang CPP-NPA-NDF o iba pang organisasyong kaalyado nito,” Año said.
“Susuportahan ng Kagawaran ang pagsasampa ng kaukulang kaso katulad ng pag-violate sa RA 10168 or the Terrorism Financing Prevention and Suppression Act of 2012.”
Such act is also a violation of the Section 261 of the Omnibus Election Code that may result in disqualification. Paying such fees is also an offense under Article 137 of RPC or Disloyalty of Public Officers.
“So tutulong po tayo sa pagsasampa ng kaso at pati na rin sa pag-disqualify ng mga kandidato ang sinumang mapapatunayang magbabayad ng permit-to- campaign or permit-to-win fees sa mga grupong ito,” the Interior chief said.
At the same time, Año told President Duterte that the DILG plans to create a post-election Local Governance Transition Team 2022.
A department memorandum was issued on March 10, aimed at organizing a group that will facilitate the turn over of necessary document, equipment, and other important information to newly elected officials.
This is to ensure the continuity of operation at the local level and prevent any loss of equipment, money or resources in a particular local government unit (LGU).
Año also reminded the personnel of the Philippine National Police (PNP), DILG, Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), and Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) to remain non-partisan and limit their election participation.
He cited the provision of the Memo Circular 2019-49, stating government personnel may face sanctions or punishment for violating the order.
The Interior chief also expects the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to issue a resolution organizing the Task Force Kontra Bigay, a task force that will work to prevent vote buying during the election period.
Meanwhile, Año also reported the confiscation of P70.6 million worth of shabu and marijuana during anti-illegal drugs operations from April 3 to 9.
Personnel from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), and PNP, conducted 968 anti-illegal drug operations for that period, resulting in the arrest of 1,305 drug offenders.
One person died during those operations, while 98 suspects surrendered to authorities. PND