Aquino allies hit NPA for electoral violence

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MANILA, Philippines—Administration allies on Wednesday took turns denouncing election violence, particularly the attack on Gingoog Mayor Ruth de Lara Guingona two weeks ago by communist New People’s Army (NPA) guerrillas.

Liberal Party Sen. Francis

Sen. Francis Pangilinan has urged the NPA to rethink its philosophy of armed struggle. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

urged the NPA, the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), to rethink its philosophy of armed struggle and return to the negotiating table.

“What Mayor [Guingona] endured was no joke. Armed struggle should not be like this, where even an old, defenseless woman is not spared,” Pangilinan said.

Pangilinan reminded the NPA that the 78-year-old mayor’s husband, former Vice President Teofisto Guingona Jr., stood up to the Marcos dictatorship.

“What is the message of the CPP-NPA now? That armed struggle is still an option? The time has come for parties to consider peace negotiations instead,” Pangilinan said in a text message in Filipino.

Team PNoy senatorial candidate Risa Hontiveros filed a letter of complaint in the Department of Justice against the NPA, accusing the insurgents of committing electoral offenses.

Hontiveros said the NPA’s use of violence and extortion was “reminiscent of [Ferdinand] Marcos’ martial law hooliganism.”

NPA apology

The NPA has apologized to the Guingona family for the April 20 attack on the Gingoog mayor. But the insurgents insisted that Mayor Guingona violated its rules by bringing armed bodyguards while campaigning in its “territory.”

Mayor Guingona was not campaigning, but her daughter, Marie, is running for mayor of Gingoog.

She was returning from a fiesta when a band of NPA guerrillas attacked her entourage in remote Alatagan village in Upper Kapitulangan late on April 20.

The mayor was wounded in the attack but she survived. Two of her civilian bodyguards were killed. A policeman and another civilian aide of the mayor were wounded.

“The checkpoints, the extortion through the so-called permit to campaign and permit to win, and the use of violence remind me of the machinery of coercion that Marcos established to subvert the will of the people, the same violent tool deployed by the Ampatuans to kill and bury their enemies,” Hontiveros said, referring to the once-influential clan in Maguindanao most of whose members are now under trial for the murders of 58 people, 30 of them journalists, in 2009.

“We should reject coercion by the NPA with the same intensity as our condemnation of military abuse. If we reject police extortion, we should also reject extortion by the NPA,” Hontiveros said.

Hontiveros denounced violence and extortion.

“These acts are clear violations of our election laws, which prohibit the use of threats, intimidation, terrorism and other coercive tools to influence the conduct and the results of elections,” Hontiveros said as she urged Justice Secretary Leila de Lima to investigate the incidents.

Team PNoy Senate candidate Juan Edgardo Angara urged all those running for elective positions on May 13 to “take a strong stand against all forms of violence, from killings to venomous words to cyberbullying.”

“Killings will achieve nothing. Venomous words will inflate passions. Cyberbullying is a Web-based form of harming candidates or people involved in the current electoral cycle,” Angara said.

Taint on elections

He mentioned the recent shooting of two supporters of Mayor Strike Revilla of Bacoor, Cavite, and the ambush on 13 supporters and relatives of Mayor Abdulmalik Manamparan of Nunungan, Lanao del Norte, among the incidents that indicated some politicians still considered violence an option to gain electoral victory.

“Violence is the refuge of people who want to taint the credibility of the May elections and the overall efforts to make our democratic institutions more mature and stable,” Angara said.

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  • farmerpo

    Declare the NPA as a terrorist/extortionist organization. Of course, GMA did when she was ‘president’ but nothing happened because GMA’s international credibility was and is still tainted. There is no better cure for a disease than to cure it with the help of the best doctor. We apparently can’t cope or won’t cope with the NPA rampage, so why not request for logistical assistance from the US so that we may use their technological know how to flush out and prosecute this gang. NDF say it is at war with the government, Isn’t that enough to round this guys up and put them where they should be?

  • NAGMAMARUNONG

    WALA NA ANG NPA. WALA NA SILANG LIDER. PATAY NA ANG NPA.

    ANG MGA NANDIYAN NGAYON AY MGA TERRORISTS, CRIMINALS, EXTORTIONISTS, MURDERERS, PRETENDERS TO RIGHTEOUSNESS LED BY SISON, JALANDONI, PARAGO, MADLOS, OTHERS IN GOVT.

  • pgsalt

    Go back to the negotiating table? LoL

    This people are nuts.

  • Guest

    Trabaho ni DILG Sec. Mar Roxas na i-maintain ang peace and order sa bansa, but look what’s he’s been doing….nothing. Panay lang ang bilang ng perang donasyon sa Team PNoy.

  • Guest

    Ang laki ng pondo ng LP, what if matalo ang lahat ng senatorial bet ni Mar Roxas. Isa lang ibig sabihin nun, talagang may bitbit na kamalasan si mar.

  • disqusted0fu

    Aquino allies hit NPA for electoral violence- but these Aquino allies couldn’t say a thing when it comes to electoral harassment by more powerful government officials.

  • zandro santos

    Napaka-effective na sana nung previous military operation OPLAN BANTAY LAYA during Arroyo’s term, pinalitan pa. Tapos ginawa pang AFP Chief of Staff ang napakabobong heneral na Emmanuel Bautista na nakaisip ng walang silbing IPSP BAYANIHAN.

    OPLAN BANTAY LAYA reduced the NPA significantly from 12,000 members in 2001 to only 4,600 members in 2010. The military operation that drived the NPAs to near extinction.

    With IPSP BAYANIHAN na mas effective KUNO, the number of NPAs remained unchange since 2011 when it replaced OPLAN BANTAY LAYA. The NPA’s are still between 4,000-5,000 members.

    ISPS BAYANIHAN’s approach to the communist insurgency, a limp-wristed one. In theory seemed a humane, peaceful approach to the insurgency, the ground-level reality is that the military has been deranged waffling to undertake combat operations against the NPA. It has practically been ordered to focus on community work. “I joined the Army, not the social welfare department,” the army colonel said sarcastically. Because of Oplan Bayanihan, formerly anti-NPA areas have shifted allegiance to the communists, fearing that the military no longer intends to defeat the insurgents in the battlefield.

  • BoyBakal

    As they say, no more sting.
    Wala ng silbi tong sinasabi ni Kiko, huli na.
    Pawala na sa senado, a has been. No more value of what he says, nobody will believe him.

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