Philippines: Kontra Daya Asks Comelec to Stop AFP from Campaigning for Palparans Group

May. 04, 2007

MANILA — The anti-fraud watchdog group Kontra Daya today called on the Commission on Elections to investigate elements of the Armed Forces of the Philippines involved in a shoot out with policemen in Bocaue, Bulacan. The shoot out was believed to be the result of an attack on mayoralty candidate Jon-Jon Villanueva Jr.

News reports have tagged the 11 soldiers involved in the shoot out as claiming to be members of the Bantay partylist group of retired general Jovito Palparan.

There are serious allegations that active military personnel are campaigning for a certain partylist group whose nominee is Gen. Palapran. The AFP has no business putting up posters for Bantay or any other group or candidate for that matter. The law was violated when these soldiers campaigned for a particular group, said Kontra Daya convenor Fr. Joe Dizon.

Earlier in the week, news reports pointed that soldiers in Central Luzon were passing around text messges to their families and friends, urging them to vote for Palparans Bantay.

Kontra Daya called on the Comelec to issue a stern warning to all military elements campaigning for particular candidates or groups, saying that this was a clear violation on the law against electioneering and partisan activities of the AFP.

Dizon also said that if the allegations that the AFP in Bulacan is involved in partisan politics, then appropriate charges must be filed against these elements. The commanding officer of the Army unit involved must also be made to face charges for the actions of his men, Dizon said.

Bantay partylist must also be made to answer allegations that it is using the AFP to campaign for its congressional bid. This practice runs counter to the claim of Bantay that it belongs to a marginalized sector, Dizon said.

The Bantay partylist group has been identified by Kontra Daya in its pre-election report as a group that has possible links with Malacaang and the AFP. Its nominee, Palapran, has been tagged by the Melo Commission as being responsible for human rights violations during his term with the AFP. The full-list can be viewed at the blog.

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