In a statement picked up by the state-owned Philippine News Agency (PNA) on May 16, 2022, Abante Sambayanan party-list first nominee Jeffrey Celiz claimed that Kontra Daya is “nothing but a special project of the communist terrorists’ urban operators and infiltrators.”

He also identified University of the Philippines professor Danilo Arao, a convenor of the election watchdog, as one of the core leaders of the supposed operation.

Celiz, who claims to be a former member of the CPP-NPA-NDF, said in a separate PNA article that he met Arao during a five-day training and seminar-workshop at a resort in Laguna in April 1999.

He said the activity, which Arao supposedly helped facilitate, was organized by the CPP Central Committee.

But in a statement, research group IBON said Arao was one of its senior staff during the time of his alleged involvement with communist groups.

Arao said the claims have no clear basis and were “definitely false accusations.”

In a separate statement, Kontra Daya said Celiz’s claims were “grounded in a falsehood that has been refuted not only by our group but also by reputable news media organizations, the courts and even the Commission on Elections.”

“Even at the risk of stating the obvious, Kontra Daya is not a CPP project. Formed in 2007 after the ‘Hello Garci’ electoral fraud controversy under former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, Kontra Daya is a non-partisan election watchdog that focuses on the vulnerabilities of the electoral process and exposes corruption and electoral fraud,” it said.

Read the full story on Kontra Daya.

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