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Roxas condemns harassment of Panay mayors supporting LP

/ 06:48 PM April 21, 2016
Presidential candidate and former DILG Secretary Mar Roxas. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO / RICHARD A. REYES

Presidential candidate and former DILG Secretary Mar Roxas. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO / RICHARD A. REYES

TACLOBAN CITY–Liberal Party (LP) standard-bearer Mar Roxas decried what he called the harassment of mayors in Panay Island supporting his candidacy, saying some local leaders there were receiving threats they would be harmed if they continued to campaign for Roxas.

Roxas said the threats may have stemmed from his strong message to Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte for supporting the New People’s Army (NPA) and its demand for businessmen and politicians to pay the rebels’ revolutionary taxes and permits to campaign.

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“It has been brought to our attention that a few of our supporters who are mayors in Panay Island are being harassed and intimidated. They are being sent letters that contain threats to their security if they persist in campaigning for Daang Matuwid and Mar Roxas,” Roxas said in a media briefing in Nueva Ecija on Thursday.

Roxas is a native of Capiz, representing the province once in the House of Representatives before he became the Department of Trade and Industry secretary.

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“I know the source of these threats because I am the only candidate who has stated that I will never tolerate the harassment which is the practice of the NPA. And I know as well that their supporter who is no other than Mayor Duterte is behind this. Because only he has said that revolutionary taxes should be paid, including their charging for permits to campaign, and that the NPA should be helped,” said Roxas.

READ: Roxas: Duterte admin will coddle, support communist rebels

The former Interior secretary earlier lambasted Duterte for sympathizing with communist rebels who have been harassing policemen and soldiers since it waged a Maoist-inspired war against the government nearly 50 years ago.

Duterte did not deny supporting the NPA.

READ: Duterte cheers rebels: ‘Mabuhay ang NPA’

“I will fight the NPA, I will fight the rebels, I will ensure our elections remain free and orderly and we will not allow those who are a clear and present danger to our democracy to prevail,” Roxas said.

Stressing that he would not tolerate the unlawful acts of communist insurgents, Roxas said he would protect the democracy the country has achieved.

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“Here it is, Mayor Duterte, the communists–the NPA–represent the ultimate challenge to our democratic system and way of life. For them, they think that only they should prevail. Communists have no fear of God. Communism is dictatorship. Only one is plotting to set one up. And we know who is demonstrating the style of a dictator in our public life today. I will not allow this,” said Roxas.

Last Saturday, the NPA admitted taking prisoners five policemen, including a ranking police station chief, in Paquibato district in Davao City, after attacking a government militia detachment.

READ: NPA takes 5 cops captive, hurts 2, seizes firearms in Davao City

Days after, a soldier and a civilian auxiliary force member died in a pursuit operation against the rebels who abducted the cops. JE

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TAGS: duterte, Elections 2016, LP, Mar Roxas, mayor, Panay, Rodrigo Duterte, Roxas
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