CPP reminds candidates: No vote-buying, armed goons in Red areas
As the election campaign for local posts in the reactionary government begin today, the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) reminded candidates to abide by the rules and policies implemented by the revolutionary movement in its territories to safeguard the rights and interests of the people. They are being advised to consult with local units of the New People’s Army (NPA) which are responsible for enforcing this policy and other measures.
“The aim of these policies is to ensure that election campaigns are conducted in an orderly manner and not used to sow violence and terror among the people,” CPP Chief Information Officer Marco Valbuena said. “The NPA has received its orders and is ready to firmly enforce these policies.”
According to these rules, politicians are prohibited from vote buying and bringing along firearms and armed bodyguards, including military and police escorts or their own goons.
“Armed escorts are not allowed during campaign in order to prevent them from subjecting people to armed intimidation,” said Valbuena. He advised politicians to “stricly abide by these policies if they wish to avoid armed encounters during their campaign sorties.”
Valbuena meanwhile said that vote-buying is “one of the starkest manifestation of the rotten electoral system of the reactionary government.” In the countryside, it takes advantage of the people’s desperate straits, reinforces feudal social relations and perpetuates patronage politics that favor the ruling classes.
“Vote-buying is prohibited in the revolutionary areas because it is typically accompanied by intimidation or coercion. It furthermore tends to sow disunity and bickering among the people with some receiving more than the others,” he pointed out.
The CPP has ordered NPA units to apprehend or reprimand politicians who will be caught in the act of vote-buying. “Monies will be seized and immediately turned over to the local organs of political power and reported to higher territorial governmental organ,” he noted. He added that revolutionary mass organizations can also plan among themselves to take the vote-buying money of politicians and place it under their collective management to ensure that it will go to programs beneficial to the community.
Last month, the NPA-Surigao mounted a checkpoint to disarm retired soldiers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), one of whom is running for a local post. The NPA unit also said it was in line with its implementation of the proper conduct of the reactionary elections campaign.
The NPA is present in more than 70 of the country’s 81 provinces operating in various municipalities. (CPP Information Bureau)