Comelec urged to probe recovery of militant pamphlets in NPA lair

MANILA -The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Monday urged the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to look into the incident where military personnel recovered supposed election materials of Bayan Muna and Kabataan party-lists, following intelligence operations at a suspected rebel hideout in Barangay Culasian, Rizal, Palawan last May 3.

"The AFP is again calling the attention of the Comelec to look into these campaign materials which were captured during a joint intelligence operation," AFP spokesperson, Marine Brig. Edgard Arevalo, said in Filipino in a briefing on Monday.

Both partly-list groups were linked by the military as legal fronts of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army (CPP-NPA), which is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, European Union, United Kingdom, New Zealand, and the Philippines.

Arevalo said the recovery of these election paraphernalia is a possible indication that these party-list groups are being aided by the communist rebels.

"This could prove or this could show us that they are being helped (by the rebels). If they don't go there, and yet their campaign materials are recovered in the NPA camp, it is an indication that they communicate or have a link," he added in Filipino.

Arevalo's views were shared by Western Command head, Vice Admiral Rene V. Medina in an earlier statement.

We are calling the attention of the COMELEC to look into this matter, with the recovery of campaign posters of the Bayan Muna and Kabataan party-list group. Likewise, we continuously urge our local stakeholders for peace to sustain the cooperation that has been established through information sharing, he added.

Also recovered during the military operation in Palawan were a .50 caliber "Barrett" type sniper rifle, 16 rounds of .50 caliber ammunition, a suppressor for M-14 assault rifle and various communist ideological books, and dental paraphernalia. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency