Senatorial aspirant and former chief presidential legal counsel Salvador Panelo (File photo)

MANILA – Former chief presidential legal counsel and now senatorial aspirant Salvador Panelo on Saturday urged presidential candidate and Vice President Leni Robredo to end her links with left-leaning groups.

He lamented that Robredo has opted to "sleep with the enemy" of the state, referring to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).

“How can a candidate in the national elections, a presidential one for that matter, without admitting, [accept] to collaborate with the extreme left who has been waging a war against the government to wrest power with an obsolete ideology," he said in a press statement on Saturday.

"Steer clear of the far left," Panelo urged Robredo.

Panelo said Robredo’s ties with communists was confirmed by the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict and former New People's Army (NPA) rebels themselves who have opted to return to the fold of the law.

Despite the Robredo camp's persistent denials, Panelo said the sudden increase in the attendees of their campaign sorties was "questionable".

"The sudden increase in the number of attendees in Robredo’s campaign rallies was allegedly due to the participation of members affiliated with the front organizations of communist terrorist groups as they have mobilized their members to attend," he said.

On April 23, the grand rally of Robredo, running mate Senator Francis Pangilinan, and senatorial lineup gathered some 412,000 in Pasay City, according to spokesperson Barry Gutierrez.

Panelo said it is obviously a desperate move to catch up with UniTeam’s Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, who consistently top all surveys by wide margins.

He said the Marcos-Duterte tandem is unbeatable, given the overwhelming support from the various political groups, including the ruling party, Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban).

"The win of BBM-SARA cannot be contradicted. Not only the numbers of every survey are all the same, but also nobody can deny the fact that the tandem enjoys massive support from the grassroots and their local government officials," Panelo said.

Panelo, part of PDP-Laban's official senatorial slate, said the ruling party alone counts the biggest number of incumbent officials nationwide supporting Marcos and Duterte.

“It is only a matter of time and ensuring the turnout of support will be converted into votes, then the fight is already over,” he said.

The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. (PNA)