THE Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) yesterday said that the government is closely monitoring dozens of candidates and local government officials continuously providing support to the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP/NPA/NDF) through extortion money and permit-to-campaign fees.
Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said there are political bets, some of them incumbent local officials, who still accede to the rebels’ extortion demands and are now in collusion with the enemies to ensure their victory and those candidates they are endorsing.
Malaya said most of the local officials are from the Bicol region, Quezon province and Eastern Mindanao.
The figure, however, has decreased compared to previous elections.
According to the DILG official, no one will be spared from the filing of cases after the conduct of a formal investigation into the reported collusion whether the candidate wins or loses in the May 13 midterm elections.
Malaya said that the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the National Police will be working on case build-ups as they are now closely monitoring the sample ballots of these candidates reportedly openly distributed in rebel-infested areas.
“If that will be the case, that is a red flag. . . and if their sample ballots contain the names of candidates endorsed by the CPP/NPA/NDF, then that is another red flag,” he said.
The DILG official said both the national and local government candidates and officials should never heed to the rebels’ extortion and deception since it is tantamount to treason or disloyalty to the government.
He said to be included in the investigation is the result of the elections to determine the areas where the alleged collusions took place and if the local candidates were able to deliver on their commitment to the communist terrorists and vice versa.
Malaya reiterated the DILG’s call to voters not to allow vote-buying and vote-selling.