The Alliance for Nationalism and Democracy (ANAD) Partylist exhorts local candidates under the Hugpong sa Tawong Lungsod to stop acting as apologists for the so-called Davao Death Squad (DDS) and the CPP-NPA-NDF in their efforts to defend the claim of the Duterte administration that Davao City is really peaceful.

ANAD Partylist made the call after Councilor Nilo Abellera stood up during Tuesday’s regular session to question the “intention” of ANAD Partylist Representative Jun Alcover and BANTAY Partylist Representative Jun Palparan in making public statements that Davao City is a “dangerous place.” He was joined in in his tirades by Councilors Danilo Dayanghirang, Conrado Baluran, Vic Advincula and Leonardo Avila.
“Hugpong candidates cannot hide the fact that about a thousand people were summarily killed in Davao City since 1995 and almost all of them including the cases of radiomen Jun Pala and Ferdie Lintuan, who happened to be critics of City Mayor Rody Duterte, remained unsolved until today,” said ANAD Partylist-Mindanao Coordinator and Spokesman Arthur Tariman, adding that the killings continued despite the New York-based Human Rights Watch report and Commission on Human Rights (CHR) investigation on DDS last year.

Tariman also pointed out that on the other hand, the Maoist terrorist NPA murdered 29 persons – 23 of them were innocent civilians – and exploded at least six improvised explosive devices (IEDs) that killed two and injured 22 including two civilians in Davao City in 2009 alone. IED is the favorite weapon of choice of modern-day terrorists. Police arrested no suspect so far in all these terrorism incidents in the city.

According to Tariman, these are facts that cannot just be glossed over easily. These are undeniable indicators of the true state of the city’s “peace and order condition.”

In a live studio interview with Jun Bersamin over station DXAB-ABS-CBN Wednesday afternoon, Hugpong Councilor Peter Lavilla admitted that Mayor Duterte accommodated three MAKABAYAN candidates into Hugpong’s official line up for this year’s local election to improve their chances of winning.

Lavilla also reechoed Councilor Nilo Abellera’s concern that ANAD and BANTAY Partylist Groups have painted a not so good picture of the city with their claim that it is not really peaceful contrary to the claim of Mayor Duterte.
Tariman stressed that Gen. Santos City that is used to be known alternately as “boom town” and “bombing city” because of its fast economic growth and the many deadly explosions in the past, respectively, is a lot peaceful than Davao today.
Gensan experienced only one terrorism attack in 2009 when suspected MILF rebels blasted down a power tower at the boundary with Sarangani Province.
There was not a single NPA atrocity committed in Gensan during the last few years except for the murder of a soldier last Dec. 5 that was suspected to be a handiwork of NPA SPARU hitmen.

There was no encounter between government and MILF forces in the city even at the height of last year’s war over the ancestral domain issue.
There was not a pattern of summary killings in Gensan the last 12 months, unlike before when suspected DDS hitmen “invaded” the city.

“The more Hugpong candidates would insist that the city is truly peaceful, the more they would appear and sound as the criminals’ and the terrorists’ apologists and defenders. If they would walk like a duck and quack like a duck, what are they? Pigs? No, they must be ducks, and such is the case of the Hugpong candidates on the issue,” Tariman concluded.#

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