LP decries harassment of local allies
MANILA, Philippines – The ruling Liberal Party (LP) this week condemned supposed instances of harassment and threats against local bets and allies in different provinces.
“Walang lugar ang karahasan sa isang demokratikong proseso tulad ng eleksiyon at sana hindi na ito magpatuloy, wag nag lumala at mapigilan na kaagad habang maaga palang,” Akbayan Representative Ibarra Gutierrez, spokesman for the LP-led “Daang Matuwid” coalition, said in a press conference on Friday, April 22.
(There is no place for harassment in a democracy process such as an election. We hope this does not continue or worsen. We hope it is put to an end early on.)
Gutierrez was referring to two incidents: in Ilocos Sur, an LP rally was disrupted because of an explosion near the venue. In Sorsogon, Gutierrez said, LP candidates were shot at during a campaign rally. Both incidents happened on April 20, Wednesday.
The Akbayan representative did not pinpoint the culprits behind the incidents but called on police to find out if they had anything to do with the “continuing” harassment by the communist New People’s Army (NPA) .
LP standard-bearer Manuel Roxas II earlier sounded the alarm because allies in Panay island were supposedly being harassed by the NPA. Mayors in Panay, said Roxas, supposedly received a letter warning them against campaigning for Roxas and the ruling party.
“Alam ko ang pinangagalingan nito kasi ako lang 'yung kandidato na nagpahayag na hindi ko ito-tolerate itong pangha-harass, itong mga gawain ng mga NPA na ito. At alam ko rin na ang kanilang supporter na si Mayor Duterte ang nasa likod nito,” said Roxas in a press conference on Thursday in Nueva Ecija.
(I know where these threats are coming from because I’m the only candidate who does not tolerate the harassment of the NPA. And I know that their supporter, Mayor Duterte, is behind this.)
Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte is one of Roxas’ rivals for the presidency. Recently, he’s topped opinion polls, seemingly inching away from the rest of the pack.
“Dahil siya lang ang nagsasabi na dapat bayaran 'yung revolutionary tax, dapat bayaran 'yung permit to campaign na 'pinapatong nila sa mga kandidato, na dapat tulungan itong mga NPA na ito. Pinapahayag ko sa inyo na hindi natin ito-tolerate ito,” explained Roxas.
(Duterte is the same person who said it’s right to pay the NPA’s revolutionary tax, to pay for a permit to campaign, that we should help the NPA. I’m saying we should not tolerate this.)
The NPA earlier urged candidates to “coordinate” with local NPA forces should they decide to campaign in areas controlled by the revolutionary group. Candidates are typically asked to pay hefty amounts in exchange for their smooth passage.
“Ang komunismo po, walang takot sa Diyos. Ang komunismo po, diktaturya,” added Roxas, who had earlier blasted Duterte for his sympathy toward the NPA. (Communism fears no god. Communism is a dictatorship.)
Roxas, the adminsitration candidate, earlier said the NPA will only have a place in his administration if they agree to talk peace.
“'Yun katotohanan na tayo ngayon ay tinatarget ng karahasan, ibig sabihin 'yung mga kalaban ay nanghihina ang loob at gumagamit na ng ganitong klaseng mga pamamaraan dahil tayo ay papunta tungo sa pagkapanalo dito sa padating na halalan. Ano sunod?” said Gutierrez.
(The truth is, we’re being targetted because our enemies are losing hope and using these methods because we’re on the way to victory. What’s next?) – Rappler.com
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