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RTF-ELCAC 6 warns poll aspirants in alliance with CTGs

SAN JOSE, Antique (PIA) -- The Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF-ELCAC) in Western Visayas issued a staunch warning to all election candidates against supporting Communist Terrorist Groups (CTGs) in exchange for votes on the May 2022 elections.

RTF-ELCAC VI spokesperson Prosecutor Flosemer Chris Gonzales, during the Dialogue with the National Anti-Money Laundering Committee (AMLC) and Covenant Signing for Peaceful Elections last February 17, said the election season is high time for reds to extort from “weak-willed and gullible” politicians through various schemes such as “permit to campaign” and “permit to win.”

According to Gonzales, these permits are granted to election candidates who agree to the terms of the CTGs.

Most of these terms are monetary, which are used to purchase arms and ammunition to combat government forces as well as to finance the lavish lifestyle of their ranking officials, he said.

He noted that for the right price, the CTGs also coerce residents in critical areas to shift their political preference to candidates who provide aid to the CTGs causes.

He added that another concern that is constantly monitored in the country is the emergence of private armies from these terror groups which are hired by some politicians to perform election-related atrocities on their behalf.

Gonzales said that these acts performed by the CTGs and several politicians take away the Filipino people’s right to freely choose their leaders and should therefore be stopped by all means through the government’s full force machinery as he called on the local government officials and other stakeholders of the province to support the national government’s campaign to cut off all types of assistance to the terrorists.

He also reminded everyone present in the dialogue that giving any sort of material aid to terrorists is considered a crime under the Anti-Terrorism Financing Act of 2012 and the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020.

Willingly or not, Gonzales said that the RTF-ELCAC VI will file charges to elected officials and/or government employees who betray public trust by providing material support to the CTGs and their linked organizations.

“We do not need politicians who cannot stand against terrorists,” he emphasized.

The prosecutor’s statements were affirmed by “Ka Rey,” a former rebel who now works for the government to end local armed struggles in the region.

Ka Rey said he decided to return to the fold of the law after 35 years when he realized that, in their long history, nothing significant has ever been achieved by the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) in any of its claimed communities and territories.

He also lauded the government’s whole-of-nation approach in fighting the insurgency under President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s Executive Order No. 70 that brought extensive development to CTG-cleared barangays through the Support to Barangay Development Program (BDP). 

The AMLC dialogue and the covenant signing for the peaceful, honest, and safe May 2022 elections was attended virtually by over 200 participants from various local government units (LGU) and national government agencies (NGA), while physically present in the venue at the Antique National School Teachers and Employees Cooperative (ANSTEC) were representatives from the Philippine Information Agency (PIA), National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA), the Philippine National Police (PNP),  Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), and the Antique Provincial Task Force ELCAC (PTF-ELCAC). (AAL/BPS/PIA Antique)

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Bernard Ceasar Susbilla

Information Officer I

Region 6

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