DILG monitoring alleged CPP-NPA-linked candidates

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The DILG Spokesman says they will closely monitor sample ballots which have been circulated in ‘rebel-infested’ areas (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 2) — The Department of Interior Local Government (DILG) said it is closely monitoring candidates who are allegedly working with local terrorists to ensure their victory for the upcoming elections.

DILG Spokesperson Jonathan Malaya said Thursday they have received reports that extortion activities by members of the Communist Party of the Philippines-National People’s Army (CPP-NPA) have decreased since the last elections but there are still some candidates suspected of conspiring with rebels.

Malaya said they are currently looking at evidence from the Philippine National Police and the military to confirm these reports. In the meantime, he refused to disclose further details on the number of candidates in question.

“We’re bringing all types of evidence together so we can finally file cases against those who are colluding with communist terrorist groups,” Malaya told the press.

The spokesman added that they are surveilling the sample ballots circulating in so-called “rebel-infested” areas such as in the Cordillera region, Bicol region and Quezon area. He explained that since these places are known to house CPP-NPA members, candidates promoting votes in these areas raise suspicion.

“The CPP-NPA claims areas wherein they are in control, therefore if a sample ballot of a certain candidate freely circulates in that area, that to us is a red flag,” Malaya said.

However, he assured they will not file cases yet based on sample ballots alone. This only means that they will keep a close eye on the candidates to ensure that they are not in cahoots with the CPP-NPA.

If cases of collusion are proven, Malaya said they will press charges against electoral bets for violation of The Terrorism Financing Prevention and Suppression Act of 2012. Corroborating the evidence may take time, Malaya said, but he assured that they can file the cases even after the candidates have won the elections.

“We can have them removed from office even after they have assumed office,” he assured.