CHR warns barangay bets against NPA extortion
MANILA - The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) on Friday warned candidates in the October 28j elections against communist rebels engaged in extortion.
The CHR, in a statement, said the New People's Army's (NPA) permit to campaign scheme "is a form of extortion... repugnant in all possible ways to valued human rights principles and standards, not only of candidates and political parties, but of the individual voters as well."
The commission said it will issue a formal advisory against the NPA scheme to raise public awareness and for the people to help prevent the illegal act.
"There were media reports in the past concerning the NPA's permit-to-campaign scheme, a practice that prevents political parties and candidates from entering certain territories, which were, allegedly, under the control of these non-state groups. To be able to have the right of entry, candidates would have to give a certain amount in exchange for a pass to campaign," the CHR said.
The commission said the practice "[claims] the powers rightfully belonging to the people and lawfully designated authorities and disregards the rule of law, and scoffs at the principles of free, fair and genuine elections."
"The basic principles on the human right to electoral participation are enshrined in the 1987 Constitution, in international law instruments such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, among others," the CHR said.
"The fundamental rights spoken in these legal documents are: the right to take part in government; the right to vote and be elected; and the right to equal access to public service."