The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) stressed Tuesday night, Oct. 19, that it will not hesitate to file charges against political aspirants in the 2022 national and local elections found providing any form of assistance to rebel groups specifically the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), New People’s Army (NPA), and National Democratic Front (NDF).
In a news briefing with President Duterte, DILG Secretary Eduardo Año warned all candidates that giving support to enemies of the state — including communist groups and terrorist groups like Abu Sayyaf Group and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) — whether financial, material, or political is prohibited under the Republic Act No. 10168 or the Terrorism Financing Prevention and Suppression Act of 2012.
Año noted that these offenses carry penalties of reclusion temporal to reclusion perpetua and fines of P500,000 to P1 million.
Likewise, Año maintained that this is not also allowed under the Omnibus Election Code with rogue candidates facing penalties of one to six years of imprisonment and disqualification from any public office.
“Nakahanda ang DILG na magsampa ng kaso upang i-disqualify ang kandidatong mapatunayang nagbabayad o nagbibigay ng anumang uri ng suporta sa mga teroristang grupo oras na magsimula ang ating campaign period sa 2022 elections (The DILG is prepared to file charges to disqualify the candidates once proven that they paid or gave any kind of support to the terrorist groups once the 2022 elections campaign period start),’’ Año said.
He emphasized that political aspirants paying rebel groups with grease money for ‘permit to campaign’ is tantamount to supporting their illegal activities and goals.