Colmenares blasts PNP for ‘last-minute smear job’ on Makabayan
MANILA, Philippines — Senatorial candidate and Bayan Muna chair Neri Colmenares on Monday accused the Philippine National Police of carrying out a “last-minute smear campaign” against him and the party list groups belonging to the Makabayan bloc in the House of Representatives.
Colmenares urged the Commission on Elections to look into the PNP’s “blatant violation” of election laws by distributing black propaganda materials against the militant coalition in Manila.
“This is patently and blatantly illegal. Police should not be engaged in campaigning for or against any candidate. What’s worse, they’re doing this on Election Day, when campaigning is prohibited,” he said.
‘Official PNP newsletter’
Colmenares alleged that policemen were seen distributing tabloids with the masthead “Pulis Serbis Balita” and labeled as the “official newsletter of the (PNP)” near the polling precinct at Geronimo Elementary School in Sampaloc, Manila, on Monday.
The tabloid supposedly contained articles that denounced party list groups Bayan Muna, Kabataan, Gabriela, ACT Teachers and Anakpawis.
Colmenares said the police officers who distributed the materials were stationed at the Manila Police District’s assistance desk.
When confronted, the men supposedly said they were told to distribute the tabloid by the PNP Community Relations Group under Police Brig. Gen. Rhodel Sermonia.
“We ask the PNP and the Armed Forces of the Philippines to just play it fair and just let the people decide,” Colmenares told reporters after casting his vote at the Don Alejandro Roces Jr. Science High School at Barangay Obrero in Quezon City.
Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate vowed to file charges against the “pathetic mercenaries and their superiors” for destroying the reputation of the militant groups.
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