Ex-rebels joining politics good for the country — Malacanang

October 22, 2012 10:00 pm 

MANILA, Oct. 22 — Former rebels entering politics is good for the country’s democracy, the Palace said Monday as it welcomed the participation of some leftist personalities in the 2013 election.

“We have always maintained that a non-violent participation in the political mainstream would certainly be welcomed from whatever sector you come from, whether from the extreme right or from the extreme left,” Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda told in a news briefing in Malacanang Monday.

“Because you acknowledged the legitimacy of the process, you acknowledged the existing laws and, therefore, any participation from previous rebels identified with either extreme left or extreme right would certainly be welcomed by us,” he added.

Lacierda was commenting on reports saying Randall Echanis, a former political detainee during the Marcos, Cory Aquino and Arroyo governments, is running for a post representing the Anakpawis party-list.

Echanis, 63, is the deputy secretary general of the national peasant group Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas. He is a peasant organizer and advocate for more than 40 years.

Echanis was previously arrested but freed under the Joint Agreement on Security and Immunity Guarantee.

The military said it has information saying Echanis is a ranking New People’s Army leader but the leftist group claims he is a consultant to the National Democratic Front. (PNA)

HBC/PCOO/SSC

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