PNP warns Brgy, SK bets: Giving financial aid to NPA is a criminal offense
MANILA, Philippines — Cases will be filed against aspirants of 2023 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE) who will be found to have fallen into extortion demands of communist rebels to secure their victory, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said on Monday.
PNP chief Gen. Benjamin Acorda Jr. alludes to aspirants who deal with the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) which conducts extortion activities during election period through “permit to campaign, harassment, and gun-for-hire operations.”
“Let me caution candidates who will fall for this election racket of the CPP-NPA that any form of monetary or material support to the CPP-NPA, a terrorist organization, is tantamount to “terrorist financing” that is punishable under Republic Act No. 11479 or the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020,” Acorda said in a press briefing,
“If the donor or giver is an incumbent Barangay or SK official, the crime is further aggravated by willful disloyalty to their Oath of Office,” he added.
According to the PNP chief, the police force said it does not foresee any threat for the 2023 BSKE as it closely monitors the actions of some remaining active guerilla fronts.
Moreover, PNP earlier said it has been monitoring 48 private armed groups (PAGs) in various parts of the country as the barangay and SK elections this October draw closer.
On May 22, PNP Public Information Office (PIO) chief Col. Redrico Maranan said three active PAGs or previously involved in criminal offenses and 42 potential PAGs, which are in central Luzon, Bicol, Western Visayas, Caraga, Cordillera Administrative Region, and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao are under surveillance.
The police force also backed Interior and Local Government Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr. for BSKE aspirants to undergo drug testing to strengthen the country’s campaign against illegal narcotics.
“Although mandatory drug testing is specifically not among the requirements for filing the certificate of candidacy, the PNP welcomes any voluntary benevolent gesture by candidates to present to their constituents a clean bill of health,” Acorda said.
“This is a magnanimous manifestation of the individual candidate’s support of the national anti-illegal drugs campaign and should be recognized by constituents as a personal display of leadership by example, especially among SK candidates who represent the youth sector,” he added.