Police officers continued red-tagging progressive parties and candidates while elections are already ongoing.
Uniformed Manila Police District officers distributed copies of Pulis Serbis Balita, the official newsletter of the Philippine National Police (PNP), on election day inside PN Geronimo Elementary School, Sampaloc, Manila, poll watch dog Kontra Daya reported.
The newsletter’s banner story, “Kabataan, nanguna sa pagkondena sa legal fronts at political parties na sumusuporta sa CPP/NPA” tagged Bayan Muna, Kabataan, Gabriela Women’s Party, Anakpawis and ACT Teachers parties as communist fronts.
Kontra Daya said the police officers violated civil service laws and rules against partisanship during elections.
“Targeting progressive parties and candidates is a blatant disregard of the non partisan role of state forces during elections,” Kontra Daya convenor Giovanni Tapang said.
“Any office or employee in the civil service, except those holding political offices; any officer, employee, or member of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, or any police force, special forces, home defense forces, barangay self-defense units and all other para-military units that now exist or which may hereafter be organized who, directly or indirectly, intervenes in any election campaign or engages in any partisan political activity, except to vote or to preserve public order, if one is a peace officer, shall be guilty of an election offense,” Section 261 (i) of the Omnibus Election Code (Intervention of Public Officers and Employees) orders.
The Civil Service Commission also reminded government personnel last January 24 from participating in partisan political activities.
“No officer or employee in the civil service, as well as any member of the military, shall engage, directly or indirectly, in any electioneering or partisan political activity, except to vote,” the CSC said.
Kontra Daya volunteer Katrina Yamson uploaded videos of volunteers confronting Manila Police District officers distributing copies of the newsletter. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)