Intel: Reds plotting poll strife

Claims rebels conspiring with a political group, report alarms Duterte

President Rodrigo Duterte expressed alarm Saturday over an intelligence report saying communist insurgents were conniving with a political organization to sow discord during the coming election.

SEEING RED. President Rodrigo Duterte warns of a possible coalition by some political groups with communist rebels ahead of the May 9 elections during his interview with SMNI in Davao City aired Saturday evening.

“What I really am afraid of is the report of the intelligence community,” President Duterte said in an interview with Apollo Quiboloy, his spiritual adviser who is facing sex trafficking charges in the United States.

“There’s this grouping of communists,” he said, mentioning the “yellows” (dilawan) and another group whose name he forgot, but without expounding or offering evidence.

“Well of course, these communists are already [considered] a terrorist organization…The government is watching out for that kind of situation.”

The President also renewed a warning to politicians or groups planning to use violence to advance their political interests in the coming elections, citing in particular the warring factions in Cotabato.

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“I will not allow terrorism in the election. I will not allow violence. Just campaign,” he said.

On Thursday, presidential candidate Senator Panfilo Lacson, citing his intelligence sources, said the campaign rally of one of his opponents, Vice President Leni Robredo, was infiltrated by communists.

The senator added that he was still verifying reports that supposed communists front organization members were also present during Robredo’s sorties in Iloilo and Bulacan—but denied he was red tagging his opponent.

Robredo’s ally, senatorial candidate Sonny Trillanes, denied Lacson’s allegations saying that Lacson’s intel was wrong.

Trillanes, a former soldier, said in a tweet there are no communists in Robredo’s campaign team.

Robredo’s spokesman Barry Gutierrez also tweeted: “Over the course of this campaign, we have seen more than our fair share of attacks and fake news against VP Leni. But this blatant and persistent red-tagging, masked as “concern” is a new low.”

“Let us not be intimidated. Call out the lies,” he added.

Over the weekend, retired Air Force Col. Hector Tarrazona warned 1Sambayan convenor Antonio Carpio against forming any coalition with “known communists.”

“While I was very hopeful to see the coalition of different political groups, I was greatly disappointed to see known communists, whose ultimate goal is to overthrow the government, in the coalition,” Tarrazona said in his letter to Carpio, after joining a Zoom webinar of 1Sambayan.

Tarrazona, a member of the Philippine Military Academy Class of 1968 who in 1986 persuaded the 15th Strike Wing to support the EDSA Revolution, said there is no place for communists in the coalition.

“You may have pleased a few thousand communists, but you will be losing the support of millions among the AFP and PNP personnel and their families, businessmen, farmers, and other Filipinos who have been victims of their terrorism, atrocities, and revolutionary taxation,” he told Carpio in his letter.

“I hope you will correct this big political blunder,” he added.

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