Risa urges DOJ to probe rebel 'checkpoints'

By Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 30 2013 01:21 PM | Updated as of Apr 30 2013 09:21 PM

MANILA - Akbayan Citizen's Action Party chairperson and Team PNoy senatorial candidate Risa Hontiveros urged the Department of Justice (DOJ) to investigate "illegal checkpoints" set up by the New People's Army (NPA) in certain areas.

In a 3-page letter complaint, Hontiveros cited the recent ambush try on 78-year-old Guingoog City Mayor Ruthie Guingona, and pointed out that checkpoints set up by the Reds pose a "threat to candidates who wish to campaign and reach out to the electorate."

"We (Akbayan) are committed to ensuring that the rule of law is upheld. It is clear that only the Comelec (Commission on Elections) has the power to set up checkpoints to enforce its gun ban pursuant to Comelec Resolution 9588 -- a power that must be judiciously exercised, in light of our collective memory of the excesses of the Martial Law regime, which we know that those in the armed left remember..." the letter read.

Hontiveros also urged the DOJ to investigate leaders of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) for possible violation of Sec 261(e) of the Omnibus Election Code, which pertains to the use of "threats, intimidation, terrorism, use of fraudulent device or other forms of coercion" during voter registration and election periods.

This, as she cited a CPP directive to the NPA, which states:

"In accordance with the policies issued by the people's democratic government, the New People's Army can setup checkpoints or roadblocks as part of its retinue of measures to maintain peace and order and ensure the protection of the rights and welfare of the masses against the dirty and violent conduct of the reactionary elections.

"Commands of the NPA and Party committees at various levels can issue specific policies in order to ensure that these checkpoints and other similar forcible measures are conducted only against the most notorious armed political scoundrels who violently oppose the policies of the people's government. Furthermore, the NPA can reach deep into its rich experience to employ a broad range of tactics to compel reactionary political candidates to abide by the policies of the people's government without resorting to the use of armed force."

President Benigno Aquino III has ordered a crackdown on roadblocks set up by the NPA and the group's "extortion activities" following the ambush try on Guingona.