(Updated) Bayan Muna poll materials found in Davao NPA camp – military
The military reported more than 300 pieces of election campaign materials of party list group Bayan Muna were recovered in a New Peoples Army camp Wednesday after an encounter with the rebel group in Toril district, the military’s Task Force Davao reported on March 1.
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The military said the recovered materials, the first incident in this year’s election period, is proof that Bayan Muna and the NPA are one despite denial from both organizations.
Among those recovered were 150 pieces of Bayan Muna’s campaign leaflets and 36 posters, 20 pieces Bayan Muna poster size calendars, 57 pieces of pocket calendars with photos of Bayan Muna Rep. Joel Virador and family, and 54 pieces of pocket calendars of Bayan Muna Southern Mindanao secretary general Jeppie Ramada.
Ramada has signified to run for Davao City councilor.
Lt. Col. Yusop Jimlani, TF Davao deputy commander, told MindaNews in an interview the materials were found along with rebel propaganda materials, supplies, and equipment.
Jimlani said the properties indicate expansion operations of the rebel group by one of its full-combat unit.
“They have the propaganda, the armory, and the campaign materials. They got everything here,” he said as Task Force Davao presented the materials to the media Thursday in their headquarters.
He said the incident validates the line the military has pursued over the alleged link of the two organizations.
The party list group, however, said the move is typical military propaganda.
Virador told MindaNews in a telephone interview, the military planted the campaign materials to undermine the party-list group in an effort to disqualify them from elections in May.
He said it is public knowledge that the group have made widespread posting of these materials.
He denied the alleged link with the NPA and stressed the incident is not separate from the government’s maneuver in charging leaders of militant organizations with rebellion.