MANILA, Philippines — The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) warned politicians on Tuesday to stop submitting to extortion activities of the New People’s Army (NPA) during the campaign period for the midterm elections or their names will be publicized, as in the case of alleged narcopoliticians.
“Ang naging kautusan po ni Secretary [Eduardo] Año sa Philippine National Police ay itong mga nasa watchlist na 349 local officials ay manmanan, at ang kautusan niya po ay kung may verified evidence na sila nga ay nagbigay muli [ng pera sa NPA], pa-filean sila ng kaso. In other words, pag nafile-an na po ng kaso, that becomes public records and we may now announce their names,” DILG Spokesperson and Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said in a press conference.
Malaya was referring to 349 government officials allegedly supporting the NPA by submitting to their extortion activities and shelling out permit-to-campaign fees.
Año earlier said the DILG has a list of these politicians – 11 governors, five vice governors, 10 provincial board members, 55 mayors, 21 vice mayors, 41 councilors, 126 village captains, 50 village councilors, and eight other village officials.
He said 11 former officials of local government units, 10 incumbent congressmen, and a former congressman are also in the said watchlist.
READ: DILG says 349 gov’t officials financing NPA
Malaya said that the DILG may file cases against these politicians before the elections if it is established that they are still financing the NPA during the campaign season.
“Gusto po sana naming seryosohin ang panawagan ng DILG, kasi baka sabihin ng mga kandidato na business as usual. For so long we have been tolerating this practice,” he said.
(We want to be serious with the call of the DILG, because the candidates may say it’s just business as usual. For so long we have been tolerating this practice.) /gsg