“Nakita namin ang isang bulto ng newspaper sa mesa ng mga pulis. Mayroon ding mga lokal na nakapagsabi sa amin at may mga pictures na ang mga pulis talaga ang namimigay nito.”–Rexi Sora, Kontra Daya-Manila
“Mali. Kasagsagan pa lang ng eleksiyon, gumagawa na sila ng black propaganda para wala nang bumoto sa partido namin.”–Teodora Tañola, Bayan Muna member.
Nagpamigay ng newsletter ang mga kagawad ng Manila Police District ng official newsletter ng Philippine National Police na Pulis Serbis Balita na naglalaman ng paninira sa mga partidong kasapi ng Makabayan bloc sa mismong araw ng halalan.
Pinuntahan ng Kodao Productions ang mga mga polling center kung saan ipinakalat ng mga pulis ang kanilang diyaryo.
Noong tinanong, itinuro na lamang ng mga pulis ang Kampo Crame upang sagutin ang maaring kaso ng partisan election activity na kanilang isinagawa laban sa grupo ng Makabayan.
(Ulat nina Jola Diones-Mamangun at Marya Salamat; camera ni Ipe Soco; editing ni Jo Maline D. Mamangun. Libreng background music mula sa https://www.fesliyanstudios.com)
“Red baiting is a different level of negative campaigning. It poses risks to those who are red-tagged and might result in extrajudicial killings.”
By RONALYN V. OLEA
Election watchdog Kontra Daya called on the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to investigate reports of partisan activities of elements of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
Kontra Daya received reports of death threats, harassment and red tagging of Makabayan party list groups and their supporters from all over the country.
“The reports are very alarming,” Arao told Bulatlat. “They’re [PNP] supposed to be non-partisan. Comelec should investigate these complaints,” he added.
The PNP’s Police Community Relations Group (PCRG), in its Twitter account, denied that the newsletter being distributed constitute black propaganda.
The PCRG even posted a link of the publication.
Arao, also a journalism professor at the University of the Philippines (UP), noted that a report in the PNP’s newsletter claims that subversive documents and high-powered rifles were seized along with campaign materials of Bayan and Kabataan Partylist.
This, Arao said, is red baiting.
“Red baiting is a different level of negative campaigning. It poses risks to those who are red tagged and might result in extrajudicial killings,” Arao said.
Jose Mari Callueng, Karapatan paralegal and Kontra Daya volunteer, pointed out that the police violated the Omnibus Election Code and Civil Service Commission’s resolutions.
Section 261 (i) of the Omnibus Election Code (Intervention of Public Officers and Employees), states, “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.”
The Omnibus Election Code prohibits unlawful electioneering it defines as soliciting votes or undertaking any propaganda on the day of registration before the board of election inspectors and on the day of election, for or against any candidate or any political party within the polling place and with a radius of thirty meters.
Meanwhile, CSC Memorandum Circular (M.C.) No. 30, s. 2009 cited publishing or distributing campaign literature or materials designed to support or oppose the election of any candidate; directly or indirectly soliciting votes, pledges, or support for or against a candidate, among others, as partisan political activities.
CSC Memorandum Circular No. 9, series of 1992 also prohibits posting and distributing of campaign materials, leaflets, banners and stickers designed to support or oppose the election of any candidate; utilizing properties, supplies, materials, and equipment of the government for political purposes, among others.
Callueng said negative campaigning can be considered a partisan political act.
The Karapatan paralegal said Comelec has jurisdiction over these cases.
“Comelec should investigate and penalize the violators,” Callueng said.
Administrative cases may also be filed with the Ombudsman against police officers violating the election code.
Government employees found guilty of engaging directly or indirectly in partisan political activities may face a penalty of one month and one day to six (6) months suspension for the first offense; and dismissal from the service for the second offense, according to the 2017 Rules on Administrative Cases in the Civil Service. #
The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) expressed outrage over efforts by the Philippine Information Agency’s Negros Occidental (PIA-NO) office to act as public relations arm of senatorial candidate Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go.
In a statement, the NUJP accused PIA-NO provincial information center Lorenzo Lambatin Jr. of insulting local journalists by sending them “suggested questions” to Go who was expected in Bacolod on Saturday, October 27, with President Rodrigo duterte for the city’s annual Masskara Festival.
“Since when have the duties of the PIA included being a public relations arm for political candidates and, as the second question clearly acknowledges, a private citizen ‘no longer with the government?’” the NUJP asked.
Lambatin reportedly sent the following “suggested questions” to the journalists Saturday afternoon:
- Sir message ninyo sa mga taga-Bacolod and sa Masskara event?”
- What makes you busy now that you are no longer with the government?
- Sir,baket ka tumakbo bilang senador?
- Sir,tell us about Malasakit Centers?
- Sir what would be your legislative agenda, sakaling palarin kang manalo bilang senador?
Go filed his certificate of candidacy for next year’s national elections earlier this month and has resigned as “special assistant to the President,” a unique Cabinet position created for the long-time assistant to Duterte.
NUJP reminded Lambatin that PIA’s mandate is “to disseminate information about government programs, projects, and services to the Filipino public, with the final goal of seeing the quality of their lives improved and empowered to participate in the country’s democratic processes.”
For using the PIA to benefit a private citizen, the NUJP called on PIA Director-General Harold Clavite to immediately conduct an investigation into this matter and make the findings public.
The journalists group added Lambatin owes the Negros media an apology for the affront and should explain who ordered the use of his office to promote Go’s candidacy.
Lambatin has yet to respond to NUJP’s statement issued Sunday. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)