The Philippine National Police (PNP) warned on Monday, May 29, those who aspire to run for barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections to refrain from engaging with communist rebels, particularly in seeking assistance to ensure victory.
PNP chief Gen. Benjamin Acorda, Jr. said there are laws that could be used against those who would be found to be dealing with the local forces of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) such as the Republic Act No. 11479 or the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020.
Acorda is particularly referring to the direct payment by candidates to the CPP-NPA, through the permit to campaign and permit to win for the barangay and SK elections scheduled in October this year.
“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,” said Acorda.
“And 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.
The Chief PNP, however, said they do not foresee serious security problem for the barangay and SK elections.
The elections for sets of officials for the 42,022 barangay across the country will start with the 90-day election period on Aug. 28 until Nov. 29.
“This early, we do not foresee any serious peace and order concerns on a national scale in the barangay and SK elections. The actions of some remaining active guerilla fronts of the CPP-NPA are closely being monitored for possible conduct of atrocities,” said Acorda.
“Security measures are now being prepared regarding this,” he added.
Acorda also urged candidates to undergo a drug test to present to their constituents a “clean bill of health”.
“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 said.