MANILA -- A ranking military official on Monday urged voters to be more discerning in whom to vote for in next month's mid-term elections, which include party-list groups bets.
"Ang message ko sa kanila (My message for them), they should be more discerning, when they make their choices. Kung hindi sigurado kung ano itong mga organization na ito, maghanap na lang sila ng kilala nila nang organization na susuportahan nila, or magresearch pa sila, magtanong sila, magbasa sila, i-research nila kung anong klase at ano itong mga activities ng mga organization na ito (If they are not sure of the nature of these organizations, they should look for the organizations that they know. Or maybe they can do more research, ask, read and look into what kind of organizations are these and what are their activities)," said Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) deputy chief-of-staff for civil-military operations, Major Gen. Antonio Parlade, Jr., in an interview with reporters.
Parlade made the statement when asked to comment on the recent Pulse Asia survey which had Bayan Muna topping the voter preference in the party-list elections.
The survey, which was conducted from March 23 to 27, had 1,800 respondents.
Bayan Muna got an 8.50 percent voter preference followed by Magkakasama sa Sakahan, Kaunlaran (Magsasaka) with 6.45 percent, Gabriela Women's Party-list (Gabriela) 6.04 percent, Ako Bicol Political Party (Ako Bicol) with 4.72 percent and Advocacy for Teacher Empowerment Through Action Cooperation and Harmony Towards Educational Reforms (A Teacher) with 4.58 percent.
Parlade said there is a need to intensify information drives against party-list groups with connections with the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army (CPP-NPA).
The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, European Union, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.
"So ngayon (now), (the) effort is for us to reveal to the people the true nature of these organizations para 'yung (opinion) ng tao mabago (so that people's opinions will change)," he added.
Parlade added that the survey showing Bayan Muna as the top choice for party-list bets is unbelievable.
"They lead the survey if at all its genuine. Bayad Muna (referring to Bayan Muna) to be number one? Conduct the survey in places where the people have been enlightened and you will get a different result," the AFP official said in a separate message to the Philippine News Agency.
Parlade also scored Gabriela for its underground activities while claiming to be an advocate of women's rights.
"Do they know that Gabriela was formed by the CPP to care for their wounded and produce medicines? Its not about women's rights. They don't care about Muslim women's rights thats why they dont have chapters in Muslim Mindanao. Do the people know that Gabriela leaders determine who among rape suspects should be killed by the NPA Kangaroo court?" Parlade said.
"Where is justice there? Will NUPL's (National Union of People's Lawyers) Neri Colmenares defend the rights of these victims, who maybe innocent of the crime of rape until proven guilty? Of course not," he added.
He also vowed to strengthen the drive to unmask the truth behind these groups linked to the communist movement.
"It only means we need to work some more to inform the people of the true character of the Kamatayan (Makabayan) bloc. It’s our obligation to the people to let them know about this duplicity of these people," Parlade said.
"Kamatayan (death) is what they bring to communities and sectors they exploit. These groups only represent the interest of the CPP NPA and the people should know. We will expose them some more and lets see the result of the next survey," he added.
Parlade also urged the Commission on Elections to carefully look into the petition against the "Kamatayan Bloc".
"The evidences against them are overwhelming. These Kamatayan bloc members have been advocating violence and sedition for the longest time, even against a duly elected President. That’s death too, for democracy. What about the foreign funds that these organizations are getting? Isn’t that a criteria for disqualification from the party-ist also?" he added. (PNA)