UNA accuses gov’t of inaction vs ‘partisan’ police official
The United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) blasted President Benigno Aquino III for his statement urging the police to be non-partisan this elections when the administration has not even removed a Laguna police official it accused of acting as an operator for the ruling Liberal Party (LP).
In a statement on Sunday, UNA spokesperson Mon Ilagan accused P/Supt. Reynaldo “Macky” Maclang, chief of police in Sta. Rosa, of being partisan for the ruling party by harassing opposition candidates.
Ilagan said Aquino’s statement during the Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA) graduation rites on Thursday urging the police to be non-partisan to ensure clean and honest elections is “hollow, hypocritical and meaningless.”
“Ang panawagan ng Pangulo na dapat proteksyunan ng PNP ang boto ay walang saysay at di kapanipani-wala dahil ang mga kagaya ni Supt. Maclang na pinakawalan ng Administrasyon noong 2013 elections para manggipit ng mga taga-Oposisyon at mang-harass ng mga kalaban ng LP ay binigyan pa ng promotion kahit na sunod-sunod ang mga kasong inaalikabok lang,” Ilagan said.
In his speech, Aquino urged the police to choose right over wrong especially during the elections when it is most tempting for officers in uniform to take bribes.
“For the uniformed service, this is a time of different temptations. I will reiterate the challenge I give each time I face graduates like you: If you will be handed an envelope in exchange for your dignity, will you allow yourselves to be bought? If you will be promised a promotion in exchange for keeping silent in the face of corruption and abuse, will you accept it? If you will be asked to choose, country or self, which will you put first?” Aquino said.
“I trust you were molded well by the PNPA to always take the straight path… everyone will gain from what you do right, everyone will suffer if you do wrong. I hope it would not be difficult for you to choose right over wrong,” he added.
Ilagan said Aquino’s statement contradicts the actions of his anointed one Liberal Party standard bearer Mar Roxas when the latter as former Interior secretary promoted Maclang despite the allegations of political partisanship.
“Ang pinakahuli ng kaso ni Maclang ay nitong nakaraang May 2013 elections. He was positively identified by election watchdogs and people’s organizations in Zamboanga Del Norte for harassing UNA candidates to favor local candidates of the Liberal Party,” Ilagan said.
Ilagan said this is part of the LP’s scheme to appoint police operators in different provinces and regions to favor administration candidates there.
“Bahagi na ng network ng LP ang mga naka-pwesto ngayon sa mga probinsya at rehiyon kung saan mabibigyan ng proteksyon ang mga kilalang operators. Bilang pagtanaw ng utang-na-loob, hindi malayong bukas ang mga serbisyo ng mga ito para kay Mar,” Ilagan said.
In the run up to the 2013 midterm elections, UNA accused Maclang, then a superintendent and commander of the Police Public Safety Company (PPSC) in Dipolog City, of favoring administration candidates while harassing the opposition.
UNA mayoral candidate Mariano Candelaria Jr. and his running mate, Lolito Miraveles, of Gutalac, Zamboanga del Norte, then filed a joint complaint affidavit at the Commission on Elections (Comelec) against Maclang for violating the Omnibus Election Code by engaging in partisan political activities and harassment to favor local candidates from the LP.
UNA accused Maclang of employing “buy-bust operations” as a tactic to arrest personal and political enemies, including the media.
Ilagan urged Comelec to remove police officials who were accused of political partisanship to ensure clean and honest polls.
“With practically less than 60 days to go before the elections, Comelec needs to preempt a scenario where election operators may exploit the situation and plot their moves. Sa ngayon only the Comelec can foil any attempt by urging the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines to reshuffle their officers and assign them in areas that are far from these election manipulators,” Ilagan said.
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