Link with Reds probed

Posted on May 06, 2013

THE MILITARY is probing alleged links between militant party-list groups and communists after rebels were found carrying campaign materials on Labor Day.

Maj. Angelo Guzman, spokesman of the 9th Infantry Division, said high-powered firearms, explosives and poll materials such as campaign posters of Bayan Muna Party-list Rep. Teddy A. Casiño, a senatorial candidate, and sample ballots promoting Bayan Muna, Gabriela and Anakpawis party-lists were recovered from two New People’s Army (NPA) members who surrendered in Sorsogon City, Sorsogon.

They were caught by members of the 31st Infantry Battalion during an operation against campaign extortions on local bets.

"What we recovered is still not conclusive. The relationship between the NPA and the party-lists is hard to prove but we will ask the two captured NPA rebels of the origin of the leaflets and posters. Those posters can be easily obtained, we cannot say that these were given by Teddy Casiño to the rebels," Mr. Guzman told BusinessWorld in a phone call last Saturday.

Mr. Casiño said he has yet to confirm the incident.

"Maybe they’re just campaigning for me but they were already called rebels? Will check with our people there. These surrenderees may have been made to pretend and carry our election materials," he said via text.

Commission on Elections Director James Arthur B. Jimenez said the poll body will be informed on the matter.

"I’m not sure there is anything to probe. But it will certainly be brought to the attention of the en banc (full commission)," he said in a text message. -- Monica Joy O. Cantilero