Makabayan files electioneering complaint versus AFP Civil Relations Service

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The progressive Makabayan bloc has filed an electioneering complaint in connection with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Civil Relations Service’s (CRS) social media posts accusing it of being a communist front and campaigning against its candidates.

Named as respondents in the 11-page complaint before the Commission on Elections (Comelec) were Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, AFP Chief of Staff General Benjamin Madrigal, Jr., AFP-CRS Commander Major General Bienvenido Datuin, and officers responsible for the negative campaign.

The complaint pertained to a poster posted in the Facebook page of the AFP-CRS on April 13, 3:45 p.m., which explicitly stated: “Before the 13 May elections, every Filipino should bear in mind not to return the representatives of their partylist groups.”

It stated that the party-list groups under Makabayan “have advocacies consistent with the aims” of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPA) and the New People’s Army (NPA).

“The Makabayan bloc in Congress is the extreme-left bloc at the House of Representatives and at the same time, is considered as the legal front of the CPP-NPA, and performing tasks as part of the revolutionary movement‘s tactic to exploit the Legislative branch of the government,” the poster read.

“No matter who sits in Malacañang, the Makabayan bloc does not have any program to support the incumbent. They just oppose whoever administration is in power,” added the poster signed with the name of Liga Independencia Pilipinas (LIP) spokesman Dario Bolivar.

The Makabayan said these were acts of coercion, threat intimidation and terrorism, partisan political activity, and use of public funds and equipment for an election campaign in violation of Section 261 of the Omnibus Election Code (OEC).

Makabayan said the post would hinder its campaigning activities and worse, threaten the safety of its personnel.

“It seeks to cripple and thus sabotage the campaign and election of the MAKABAYAN in the Lower House and the Senate with the dirty and dangerous tactic of red-baiting,” read the complaint.

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