Public warned vs. collection of fees by federalism group
posted 10-Feb-2019  ·  
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The Catanduanes Provincial Police Office has warned the public against the collection of fees by a pro-federalism group based in Davao City whose accreditation with the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has been deemed terminated.

In a memorandum to all police units across the island, PNP provincial director Senior Superintendent Paul Abay disclosed that a civil society organization named “Hugpong Federal Movement of the Philippines, Inc. (HFMPI)” and its local chapter are planning to conduct federalism-related activities in the different municipalities of the province and is reported to be collecting fees, claiming that their organization is accredited by the DILG Central Office.

The Camp Camacho police headquarters, however, coordinated with DILG provincial director Uldarico Razal Jr., who informed that the accreditation of HFMPI and its local chapters was valid only until Dec. 31, 2018.

Razal cited DILG regional director Atty. Anthony Nuyda’s memo that stated that for the current year, the group would have to seek re-accreditation in order for them to gain access to DILG support in conducting federalism advocacy activities.

According to RD Nuyda, the provisions of DILG Memorandum Circular No. 2018-79 regulating the allowable activities of accredited CSOs state that they are not allowed to charge or collect fees.

An official source at the local police headquarters told the Tribune that the Hugpong federalism group has been recruiting members in the 11 towns, promising them livelihood projects under the proposed federal government.

The group has been showing around a copy of a letter addressed to Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol, thanking him for his purported announcement that P150 million has been allotted for livelihood projects to all volunteers under the Federal Movement of the Philippines. The same letter claimed that Hugpong Federal Movement chairman Celso Tizon had been designated publicly by Sec. Piñol to endorse and submit livelihood projects proposals of the HFMP farmers group to the DA.

The Catanduanes police learned of the group’s activities after its alleged provincial director, Rev. Rowena Hebres, requested the office of Senior Supt. Abay to “protect our committed volunteers in every barangay during our Federalism Forum in every municipality of Catanduanes.”

Hebres claimed that their primary task is to “spearhead the federalism campaign within the province, including LGUs, schools, colleges, universities and other sectoral groups and to monitor any illegal activities, performances of government officials and workers and submit a written report to the office of the Presidential Action Center in Malacanang Palace.”

It may be recalled that in February 2018, DILG officer-in-charge Eduardo Año warned against the illegal activities of individuals and groups falsely claiming to have been appointed as OIC barangay and local officials under a federal or revolutionary government.

The same warning was extended against the solicitation of money in the disguise of membership fees and donations or any favor for the fake promise of OIC appointments.

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