MANILA – Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año on Tuesday said the agency is ready to file charges against 2022 election candidates found to be paying “permit-to-campaign” to terrorist groups, including the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF).
In his report during President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s Talk to the People late Tuesday night, Año reminded all candidates that giving financial assistance and political support to terrorists CPP-NPA-NDF, Abu Sayyaf group, the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, and other related groups is “strictly” prohibited under Republic Act 10168.
“Ang pagbabayad ng permit-to-campaign o permit-to-win sa mga teroristang ito ay katumbas ng pagsuporta sa kanilang iligal na gawain at masasabing hangarin (Paying a permit-to-campaign or permit-to-win to these terrorists is tantamount to supporting their illegal activities and intentions),” Año said.
He said these offenses carry penalties of reclusion temporal to reclusion perpetua and fines of PHP500,000 to PHP1 million.
Año also said violators may face one to six years imprisonment and disqualification to any public office as provided in Section 261 of the Omnibus Election Code.
“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.
The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.
Successful anti-illegal drug drive
Año also reported to Duterte that 1,331 drug suspects were arrested, 16 others surrendered while eight were killed in 933 anti-drug operations conducted by the Philippine National Police in the past week.
He said the PNP also confiscated shabu worth PHP2 billion, including PHP1.656 billion during a successful buy-bust operation in Dasmariñas City, Cavite, through proper coordination among the police, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA), the Bureau of Customs (BOC), and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Oct. 16.
On Oct.18, authorities seized over PHP262 million worth shabu in an operation in Angeles City, Pampanga which resulted in the killing of four Chinese drug suspects.
Last Oct.18, authorities seized over PHP262 million worth of methamphetamine hydrochloride (shabu) during an operation in Angeles City in Pampanga which resulted in the killing of four Chinese drug suspects.