DILG warns poll bets vs paying ‘permit to campaign’ fees to communist rebels

Robie de Guzman   •   October 13, 2021   •   334

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Wednesday warned all candidates in the 2022 national and local elections against paying the so-called permit to campaign fees to the communist rebels.

In a statement, DILG Secretary Eduardo Año reminded candidates of the Memorandum Circular 2019-26, which calls this modus operandi as a “clear form of extortion and defilement of the sanctity of the right to suffrage.”

“Huwag po tayong magpaloko at matakot. Ang ibabayad n’yong extortion money sa mga komunista ay gagamitin din nila para makapaghasik ng terorismo sa bansa,” he adds.

In the said directive, Año enjoined local government units (LGUs) and the Philippine National Police to ensure that all candidates are allowed unhampered entrance in every LGU and guarantee peace and order in all areas especially those considered as hotspots for insurgency.

“All local officials should steer clear of directly or indirectly giving financial, material and political support to the CPP-NPA since this is a clear violation of law. This is something that the DILG under my leadership will never tolerate,” he said.

LGUs are also directed to ensure that all citizens desiring to exercise their right to suffrage are allowed and encouraged, and their rights are protected when participating in political assemblies and meetings and in the dissemination and receipt of information of any and all election-related matters.

“We must secure all candidates and political parties and ensure that they are given access to the electorate during the campaign period without intimidation and manipulation from communist terrorist groups,” he said.

The DILG said it will file disqualification cases against candidates who will be proven to have supported and cooperated with the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army.

“Supporting communist terrorist groups through financing or other means is an election offense and is sufficient to cause the disqualification of a candidate,” DILG Undersecretary and Spokesperson Jonathan Malaya said in the same statement.

“We will follow through on our words, those politicians who will be proven as accomplices of the CPP-NPA will face disqualification cases from the DILG,” he said.

The DILG also cited Section 4 of Republic Act (RA) 10168 known as ‘The Terrorism Financing Prevention and Suppression Act of 2012’, which states that any person who finances terrorist groups to carry out or facilitate the commission of any terrorist act, by a terrorist organization, association or group, or by an individual terrorist, shall be guilty of the crime of financing terrorism.

Malaya said that under RA 10168, the crime of financing terrorism is punishable by the penalty of reclusion temporal in its maximum period to reclusion perpetua and a fine of not less than Five hundred thousand pesos (P500,000) to not more than One million pesos (P1,000,000).

Such is also punishable under Section 261 of the Omnibus Election Code of the Philippines which can render the accused “permanent disqualification to hold public office” with imprisonment of one to six years, he added.

 

Aplikasyon para sa exemption sa election gun ban at security detail recall, simula na sa Dec. 1

Robie de Guzman   •   December 1, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Simula Miyerkules, Disyembre 1, ay tatanggap na ng aplikasyon ang Philippine National Police (PNP) at Commission on Elections para sa exemption sa gun ban at security detail recall kaugnay ng 2022 elections.

Ayon kay PNP spokesperson Police Colonel Augustus Alba, tatagal hanggang Mayo 25 ang application period.

Batay sa Comelec Resolution 10728, ipinagbabawal ang pagdadala ng baril kapag nagsimula na ang election period sa Enero 9 hanggang Hunyo 8, 2022.

Kailangan ding i-recall ang lahat ng security detail na dineploy ng Police Security and Protection Group sa mga pulitiko, opisyal ng pamahalaan at pribadong indibiduwal.

 Tanging ang mga may pahintulot lamang ng Comelec ang bibigyan ng bantay.

Exempted sa recall ng security detail ang Presidente, Bise Presidente, Senate President, House Speaker, Supreme Court Chief Justice, AFP chief of staff at major service commanders, COMELEC chairman, mga kalihim ng Department of National Defense at ng Interior and Local Government, at senior officers ng PNP.

Ang mga ire- recall na security detail o protection security personnel ay isasalang naman sa VIP security and protection refresher course.

Sa lahat ng interesado ay maaaring mag-apply online sa official website ng COMELEC.

Bong Go withdraws presidential bid for 2022 polls

Robie de Guzman   •   November 30, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go on Tuesday announced he is no longer running for president in the 2022 elections.

In a statement, Go said he is dropping out of the presidential race because his family does not want him to seek the presidency.

He also does not want to put President Rodrigo Duterte in a difficult situation.

“Ayaw rin talaga ng aking pamilya. Kaya naisip ko na siguro nga ay hindi ko pa panahon sa ngayon. Diyos lang ang nakakaalam kung kailan talaga ang tamang panahon ko,” he said.

“Ayaw ko rin pong lalong maipit si Pangulong Duterte. Higit pa po sa tatay ang pagmamahal ko sa kanya. Matanda na po siya at marami na siyang naibigay sa bayan kung kaya’t ayaw ko nang dagdagan pa ang kanyang problema,” he added.

Go’s announcement came a week after he admitted having a hard time and being hesitant about seeking the top post in the country as he was set to run for vice president.

“Alam naman ng lahat na naging kandidato na po ako sa pagka-Bise Presidente sa loob ng mahigit isang buwan, 40 days to be exact. Subalit, dahil sa mga pangyayaring hindi inaasahan, kailangan ko pong magpaubaya,” he said.

He also reiterated his willingness to “make the supreme sacrifice for the good of our country and for the sake of unity” among their supporters.

“In the past few days po, I realized that my heart and mind are contradicting my own actions. Talagang nagreresist po ang aking katawan, puso at isipan. Tao lang po ako na nasasaktan at napapagod din,” he said.

“Sa ngayon po, iyon po ang mga rason ko. That is why I am withdrawing from the race,” he added.

Go thanked his supporters for their trust in him and President Duterte.

“Lubos ang aking pasasalamat sa lahat ng supporters na walang tigil na nagtitiwala sa akin at kay Pangulong Duterte. Kaya gusto kong magpakatotoo sa inyong lahat at ayaw ko nang patagalin pa ang bigat ng nararamdaman ko,” he said.

Meanwhile, Go advised presidential aspirants to always put first the welfare of the country and the interest of Filipinos.

Prior to serving as senator in 2019, Go served as Duterte’s special assistant.

 

 

DILG calls for more volunteers to support 3-day COVID-19 vaccination drive

Robie de Guzman   •   November 25, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has called for more volunteers to support all local government units (LGU) during the three-day national vaccination drive.

The three-day campaign, dubbed as “Bayanihan Bakunahan,” will be held from November 29 to December 1. It aims to inoculate 15 million Filipinos across 16 regions outside of Metro Manila.

In a statement, DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said this program is “the most ambitious vaccination undertaking in the country to date,” and they need many volunteers, especially those with medical backgrounds, to assist in the more than 12,000 vaccination sites nationwide.

“We, therefore, urge everyone to become heroes not only by getting vaccinated but also by volunteering their services during the three-day vaccination drive,” he added.

Año urged state or private colleges and universities, especially those that are offering medical and nursing courses, to mobilize doctors, nurses, and nursing students to assist LGUs during the campaign.

Among the volunteers needed for the campaign are vaccination teams that include medical doctors, nurses, pharmacists, dentists, midwives, first responders, paramedics, other health professionals, teachers, and professors.

“They will be assigned as health screeners, vaccinators, post vaccination monitors, or health educators. The projected number of health professionals needed is around 100,000” Año said.

For the vaccination drive management team, the DILG said the volunteers needed are data professionals, teachers, and school personnel, accountants, students, government employees, Sangguniang Kabataan, or any willing and trained data personnel and volunteers.

“They will be assigned as Encoders or Talliers or Data Consolidators,” the department added.

The DILG said LGUs are already mobilizing barangay officials and barangay-based institutions to bring people to the more than 12,000 proposed vaccination sites.

“Bukod sa ating mga LGUs, napakalaki po ng parte ng bawat mamamayan sa paparating na Bayanihan Bakunahan. Kaya naman, inaanyayahan po namin ang lahat na makiisa at mag-volunteer. Let us live out the spirit of bayanihan and defeat the pandemic,” Año said.

“Mag-volunteer sa inyong LGU para sa anumang suporta na maaaring maibigay. Hikayatin at tulungan magpabakuna ang mga kapamilya at kaibigan para sa ating pagsalubong sa ligtas na bagong normal lalo na ngayong magpa-Pasko at sa nalalapit na pagpasok ng bagong taon,” he added.

Volunteers can sign up through the National Volunteer Registration portal.

“LGUs must also ensure that the enlistment of volunteers thru the National Vaccination Volunteer Registration (NVVR) is properly managed by assigning a point person who will coordinate and communicate with the volunteers, and a data manager to download the list of volunteers with their contact details from the Vaccination Operations Reporting System (VORS),” the DILG said.

In a memorandum circular, Año also urged LGUs to expand the number of vaccination sites to include schools, malls, cinemas, restaurants, and other public places.

He also said LGUs should see to it that all vaccines that shall be used in the nationwide campaign are ready and will be properly distributed to the vaccination sites.

After the three-day vaccination drive, the DILG said it will be evaluating the performance of the LGUs.

They will also be required to submit a report to DILG’s Emergency Operations Center on December 3.

“From December 2-31, 2021, the DILG will be assessing and evaluating the reports and will be recognizing and commending LGUs who have achieved their daily targets for the NVD. The DILG will also provide feedback and report to the LGU,” it said.

President Rodrigo Duterte has declared the dates November 29, 30 and December 1 as Bayanihan, Bakunahan COVID-19 vaccination days,

Under Proclamation No. 1253, issued by Duterte on Wednesday, employees and workers of the government and the private sector, who will be vaccinated during this period, shall not be considered absent from their work.

 

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