March 20, 2010
Bayan Muna 3rd nominee Atty. Joven Laura is calling the attention of Army Chief Maj. Gen. Reynaldo Mapagu to “look into these cases of harassment and intimidation by his men on local leaders of Bayan Muna and other progressive partylists in Mindanao.”
In South Cotabato, the military is a step more blatant in their partisan activities. The 27th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army speakers have been airing their smear campaign against the progressive groups over radio accusing the latter of being legal fronts of the CPP/NDF/NPA. In the barrios, they have been conducting meetings to tell the people not to vote for the progressive partylists such as Bayan Muna and also against Satur Ocampo and Liza Maza.
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Since January, the 27th IB- PA has been conducting surveys to gather information especially from active members of Bayan Muna, Gabriela, Anakpawis, and Kabataan including supporters of Ocampo and Maza. They also gathered people in a barangay plaza to show a video documentary portraying the progressive partylists, Ocampo and Maza as members and supporters of the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New Peoples Army.
A number of local leaders in Barangays San Isidro and Sto. Niño in Koronadal City were subjected to different forms of harassment and intimidation by elements of the 27th IB-PA in February this year. The local leaders have already filed a complaint with the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) against the 27th IB-PA and its Commanding Officer, Lt. Col. Joshua Santiago.
Santiago is also involved in the harassment and intimidation of local leaders of peoples organization in Koronadal Cty in 2009.
Laura adds that, “Mapagu should immediately take action about these harassment cases and put a stop to all the violations against members and supporters of Bayan Muna and other progressive partylists and organizations.”
“If something happens to any of our members and supporters, there will be no one else to blame,” Laura warns Mapagu.
Atty. Joven Laura, Bayan Muna 3rd nominee