DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Progressive Makabayan Coalition on Monday cried foul over red-tagging posters sighted near polling centers in some cities in Southern Mindanao.
Abdul Sissay, Bayan Muna party-list Southern Mindanao Region coordinator said their members from the ground reported sightings of posters campaigning for zero votes against Makabayan party lists and senatorial candidate Neri Colmenares in the cities of Davao, Tagum, and Cotabato.
“The massive red-tagging on election day is a vicious move to discredit and demonize the aforementioned organizations. The administration is desperate to ensure its hold over Congress and other government institutions, and to enforce its dictatorial policies,” Sissay said.
The group sent a photo to Davao Today of the poster seen outside a polling center in Tagum City which tagged the group as “legal front of the CPP-NPA-NDF” (Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front of the Philippines).
Written on top of the poster is “Zero Vote” with photos of former Bayan Muna representative and senatorial candidate Neri Colmenares, Kabataan rep. Sarah Elago, ACT Teachers rep. Antonio Tinio, Gabriela Women’s Party rep. Emmi De Jesus, and former Anakpawis rep. Rafael Mariano.
A huge tarpaulin was also found along the highway in Tagum City that says, “Alyado sa Teroristang NPA” and “Ayaw iboto” bearing the logos of Makabayan party lists.
The same tarpaulin was also sighted in Cotabato City and along Maa highway in Davao City.
Sissay said several more cases of red-tagging and harassment of poll-watchers were also documented in various parts of the country.
Watchdog Kontra Daya documented some police distributing “Pulis Serbis Balita” tabloids with the identification as “The Official Newsletter of the Philippine National Police” near polling center at Geronimo Elementary School in Sampaloc Manila on Monday morning.
The tabloid’s headline: “Kabataan, Nanguna sa Pagkondena sa Legal Fronts at Political Parties na Sumusuporta sa CPP/NPA” acontained articles campaigning against the Makabayan party lists.
Earlier, reports circulated that Makabayan party-lists had been disqualified in the party-list race that the Commission on Elections (Comelec) has already refuted.
Senatorial candidate Neri Colmenares has called on the Comelec to look into these reports.
“Sana sa Comelec, umaksyon na po kayo. Hindi po dapat patuloy ang ganitong harassment kahit sa araw ng eleksyon (Comelec should act on this. These kinds of harassment must not be tolerated on the Election Day),” he said. (davaotoday.com)