The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), together with the Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines (ULAP), reminds candidates for the 2019 Midterm Elections to not give in to New People's Army's (NPA) extortion scheme during local campaign period.
In a joint press statement, DILG and ULAP "remind all candidates running for public office in the 2019 election that financing the NPA and their terror activities will make them criminally and administratively liable under our laws."
The DILG and ULAP also advise all candidates and their supporters not to be complicit to the terror group's demands and extortion activities and to immediately report these illegal activities to law enforcement agencies including the COMELEC.
DILG Undersecretary and Spokesperson Jonathan E. Malaya says that terrorism continues to be one of the predicaments of the government and supporting the NPA through extortion money is not helping the cause.
"Inuulit po namin, being a supporter of terrorism makes you complicit and liable under the laws of the land. The current administration's resolve in extinguishing terrorism in the country is resolute and we intend to sustain that," says Malaya.
"We will follow through on the President's directives. In fact, DILG Secretary Eduardo Año himself recently said that the NPA will be wiped out in the next two years," he adds.
Malaya also emphasized that the DILG will not hesitate in filing administrative and criminal charges against politicians who will be proven to be in cahoots with the NPA.
The DILG recently exposed a watchlist containing names of 346 government executives who are allegedly providing financial support to the NPA through extortion money.
“We will not hesitate to file criminal and admin cases against politicians who will support terrorism. And we will expose your names to the public,” says Malaya.
DILG Secretary Año also directed the Philippine National Police to closely monitor the 346 on the DILG watchlist of politicians who have paid permits to campaign fees to the NPA in the last elections.
ULAP Secretary-General and Philippine Councilor's League National Chairperson Danilo C. Dayanghirang conveyed support to the DILG's campaign against terrorism and violence. "We are in unison with President Rodrigo Duterte and Secretary Año in denouncing this extortion scheme of the NPA," he says.
"The Government exhausted all efforts in resuming the peace talks but with their [NPA] continued perpetration of criminal activities including extortion, clearly show that their agenda is fueled by selfish interest and the goal of overthrowing our democratic government and way of life," says Dayanghirang.
"As far as ULAP is concerned, we will just follow the directive from the DILG and the COMELEC against the proliferation of terrorism and in curtailing this extortion scheme of the NPA," he adds.
ULAP is the umbrella organization of all leagues of local government units and locally elected government officials.