Bato seeks ban vs party-list groups supporting communist rebels

Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 10 2019 08:12 PM

MANILA - Sen. Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa on Tuesday called on the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to cancel the registration of left-leaning party-list groups which he said were “obviously supporting” the communist New People’s Army (NPA).

At a Senate hearing, Dela Rosa pressed Comelec Commissioner Antonio Kho for updates on a petition filed in April seeking to cancel the registration of left-leaning party-list groups Bayan Muna, Anakpawis, Kabataan, Alliance of Concerned Teachers, and Gabriela.

“Sana 'yung Comelec magtulungan tayo na matapos ang problemang ito dahil itong mga party-list na ito they are using democracy to destroy democracy,” Dela Rosa said in a Senate hearing on proposed amendments to the party-list law.

(I hope Comelec would help us end this problem because these party-list groups are using democracy to destroy democracy.)

“Ginagamit nila ang pagpasok sa gobyerno para sirain ang gobyerno kaya kawawa ang Pilipinas kapag ‘di ito mahinto.”

(They are using their government posts to destroy the government and the Philippines will suffer if this is not stopped.)

Kho said petitions for party-list registrations were filed before the Comelec but he could not determine whether these were the ones Dela Rosa cited.

“I can’t anticipate what will be the decision of the Comelec regarding this matter,” Kho said. “If the petitioner can prove the grounds, Comelec will act on it.”

Dela Rosa replied that the Comelec “should act with dispatch” on the petition.

Since assuming his post in the Senate, Dela Rosa has clashed with leftist groups.

He earlier led a Senate probe into the alleged recruitment of leftist groups of minors.

During the campaign season in May, Bayan Muna party-list said that the state's red-tagging of its members hurt its electoral campaign and that of allied groups Gabriela, ACT Teachers and Anakpawis. 

Bayan Muna secured three seats, Gabriela and ACT Teachers one each, while Anakpawis, which had received enough votes in previous elections to get a seat, failed this time. 

Peace negotiations between government and communist rebels earlier collapsed, with the administration alleging continued rebel attacks on state troops despite ongoing talks.