AFP Hit for Campaigning Vs Progressive Partylists; Bayan Exposes Military’ Malicious Tactical Plan

Mar. 14, 2007

DAVAO CITY–Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN)- Southern Mindanao
denounced the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) for ‘desperately’
campaigning against the progressive partylists Bayan Muna, Anakpawis,
Gabriela, Kabataan and Suara as the militant umbrella organization
exposed today military’s plans to interfere in the forthcoming
partylists polls.

BAYAN Southern Mindanao Secretary General Ariel Casilao said the
details of the AFP’s dirty tricks versus progressive partylists were
clearly outlined in the document ‘Special SOT (Special Operations
Team) Project: Counter party-list at the barangay council.’

Casilao said in the document the military aims to “make it hard for
progressive partylist groups to campaign and make it easy for
partylist allies to campaign.”

In achieving this aim, the document suggests to “focus denial
operations” in 305 cities and towns tagged as CPP-NPA-NDF strongholds
where Bayan Muna and other progressive party-list organizations that
topped the previous party-list elections.

Further in the document, it also suggested the division of potential
votes by promoting AFP-preferred partylists like ABA-AKO, COOP-NATCO,
Akapin, Abanse Pinay, Akbayan, TUCP, and “others,” and the actual use
of AFP and PNP operations in securing of arrest warrants for “cadres
attached to local candidates”; tactical operations to prevent local
bets and partylists from campaigning, and the filing of
disqualification cases.

“This military document calling on members of the AFP to destroy
leftwing party lists is a clear manifestation of AFP’s electioneering
and a partisan to political activities,” Casilao said.

Casialo said they are urging the Comelec to immediately act on this
matter. He added that this policy being carried out in urban centers
best explains the present militarization of urban poor communities in
Metro Manila and the rabid anti-left party list campaign in the region
undertaken by top-ranking military officials identified with the
Macapagal-Arroyo camp.

“The intensive military operations and saturation drives to terrorize
even urban communities are apparently not only aimed to demonize and
to deny victory of progressive partylists this coming election. The
military is also conditioning the public to accept the further
escalation of extrajudicial killings and other fascist attacks against
the leaders, members and supporters of these progressive parties and
people’s organizations. We are likewise condemning this and we will
pursue demanding for justice,” Casilao said.

“With this exposition, public funds are now being funnelled into this
counter-progressive partylist campaign. We are already expecting that
the Arroyo administration and their operators will work even harder
and nastier to cheat in a far worse manner and we are hopeful that
this time we will frustrate them,” Casilao furthered.

BAYAN- Southern Mindanao together with all of its allied organizations
express support to independent watchdog People Net-Kontra Daya of the
concerned organizations, and other similar anti-poll fraud citizens’
groups. We are extending our voluntary assistance and full cooperation
in pursuing clean and honest elections in May. ###

For Reference:

Mr. Ariel Casilao
Secretary General, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan

BAYAN Southern Mindanao
34-A Lacson Street, Bo. Obrero, Davao City
Tel.#: 224.2642,

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