MANILA, Philippines - A party list group linked to the military joined other groups who have sought the disqualification of Bayan Muna and its party list allies for failing to denounce the Communist New People's Army (NPA).
In a press conference, PEACE President Agnes Lopez said she and her allies can attest to how the Makabayan bloc party-list groups benefited from NPA financing. PEACE stands for People's Advocacy for Collaboration and Empowerment, Inc.
The Makabayan bloc includes Bayan Muna, Gabriela, Anakpawis, Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT), Kabataan, and Katribu Indigenous Peoples Sectoral Party (KATRIBU) Party-list.
Lopez said she wants party-list lawmakers allied with the Makabayan bloc to denounce the NPA and its drive to impose “revolutionary taxes” ahead of the 2013 elections.
Tito Ortiz of the Alliance for Nationalism and Democracy (ANAD) party said the group should be disqualified as they are merely fronts of the communist insurgency.
The petitioners said they are not allied with Akbayan party-list, which is also facing a disqualification complaint by the leftist groups.
They also denied ties to the military although ANAD is associated with former general turned fugitive Jovito Palparan. Lopez said some of their members are rebel returnees under military care.
She said the Pearl Foundation is one group that provides financing.
Silent on NPA activities
Last September, the same groups urged Comelec to disqualify Bayan Muna and affiliated groups.
In a letter opposition to the Comelec, the New Guardians for Freedom and Democracy, Inc. (NGI), PEACE Inc. and Pro Democracy Foundation of the Philippines (Pro-Dem) said the groups are mere fronts for the CPP-NPA-NDF.
It said no less than Communist Party of the Philippines founder Jose Maria Sison identified legal democratic forces that help their cause including the Bagong Alyansyang Makabayan (Bayan), Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU), the Pambansang Kilusang Magbubukid or the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP), Gabriela, League of Filipino Students (LFS), Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) and KADENA.
The petitioners also noted that none of the groups have publicly spoken out against the NPA’s revolutionary taxes. They said Anakpawis members regularly conduct street demonstrations and strikes purportedly for the interests of the working class.
“The worst is that Anakpawis cadres are openly calling armed revolution to topple our present democratic government,” the groups said.
Comelec won’t rule yet on Akbayan, Bayan Muna
Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes on Monday the poll body is going to take a while before it resolves disqualification cases against rival progressive groups Akbayan and Bayan Muna.
Brillantes said the poll body will wait for the return of Commissioners Christian Robert Lim and Elias Yusoph who are both out of the country.
He added it will formally issue a resolution why the Ang Galing Pinoy party-list group is disqualified on the merits and not just on a technicality. The party, which was previously represented by former Pampanga Rep. Mikey Arroyo, was disqualified by Comelec for failing to appear in a poll body hearing.