AFP official admits campaigning vs. partylist groups

Lt. Gen. Rodolfo Obaniana, chief of Eastmincom, made the admission as the military announced that it was "all systems go" for its units to fulfill its role in securing the May 14 polls.

Obaniana said in a message read by EastMinCom spokesperson Randolph Cabangbang in a press conference Friday that he has been "vigorously campaigning against those supportive of the New Peoples Army”.

He did not name the partylist groups but the Armed Forces of the Philippines has publicly declared its suspicion on the left-wing partylist groups that included Bayan Muna, AnakPawis and Gabriela Women’s Party.

Obaniana said the military would “launch a campaign to expose the hidden agenda of the said partylist groups” although he claimed that he was not engaged in “politicking against the partylist organizations concerned”.

He said he would pursue his campaign to dissuade support to the partylist groups after elections.  "In my recent visits to my units, I was enlightened that it should be my personal crusade to dissuade everyone from supporting the NPA-affiliated political organizations."

Obaniana said "these so-called regressive political organizations are obvious fronts of the NPA"  and accused the party lists groups of allegedly having “milked” the government of taxpayers' money to fund the terrorist activities of the NPAs.

"They have contributed millions to coffers of the NPAs and will continue to do so unless something will be done," he said.

Bayan Muna, Anakpawis and Gabriela Women's Party have complained against the military's campaign in the countryside not to vote for the progressive groups.

The three have been identified in surveys as "winnable." They have denied doing front work for the rebels saying there was no evidence on the allegation.

Obaniana meantime, also denied they have been campaigning for the government's candidates and partylists groups. "Let me say that at no point did we campaign for any particular candidate," he said.

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