The statement was made yesterday by Vice Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson, in response to military claims that more than 30 incumbent local government officials in Negros Occidental were reported to have been supporting the New People’s Army.
If they cannot do it publicly, Lacson suggested that the Philippine Army personally inform those public officials that their names appeared as NPA supporters.
Col. Benedict Arevalo, 303rd Infantry Brigade commander, earlier revealed that local government officials are giving financial and logistical support to the NPA, who, in return, avail of their services, as private armed goons, during, and even before elections.
The NPA supporters, whom Arevalo did not identify, include mayors, vice mayors, while majority of them are councilors.
Without mentioning names, it seems that we are all being accused of supporting (the NPA). That is not fair, Lacson said.
Following the revelations of Arevalo, the Department of Interior and Local Government also reported that 349 local and national government officials are allegedly providing support to the NPA by submitting to their extortion activities or permit-to-campaign fees in rebel-infested areas.
Arevalo said exposing those who are supporting the NPA, is not meant to judge them. “We would like to remind them not to support the CPP-NPA,” he added, stressing that the rebel group has already been categorized by the European Union (EU), as a terrorist organization.
The DILG list included 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, from 14 areas of the country, including Western Visayas.
DILG Secretary Eduardo Año had earlier issued a warning to all governors, mayors and candidates about directly or indirectly giving material and political support to the communist rebels.
Section 4 of the Republic Act (RA) No. 10168 otherwise known as "The Terrorism Financing Prevention and Suppression Act of 2012,” states that those found guilty shall suffer the penalty of reclusion temporal in its maximum period, to reclusion perpetua and a fine of not less than P500,000 nor more than P1-million.*
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