MANILA (20-Feb-2013) – A Catholic priest-turned-rebel Santiago Salas has called on the public to reject candidates belonging to a political family in Samar province.
Salas, spokesperson of the National Democratic Front—Eastern Visayas (NDF-EV), said that the province needs reform and one measure is by ending the ‘Tan dynasty’.
The rebel leader accused the political clan of corruption, adding that they used their political power to “entrench and further its economic interests at the expense of the people.”
“While the Tans benefit from their political and economic power, the government employees and common people suffer grinding poverty, militarization, and deprival of basic social services,” Salas said.
“If the Tans will have their way, they will certainly further their oppression and exploitation of the people,” he said.
There are currently three Tans in the Samar provincial government: 2nd district Rep. Milagrosa Tan, her daughter Governor Sharee Ann Tan and son Vice Gov. Stephen James Tan.
Rep. Tan’s two other children are also seeking the mayoralties in the cities of Calbayog and Catbalogan, while her brother-in-law is aspiring a congressional seat in Samar’s first district.
“Because of their intertwined political and business interests, the Tans have also outraged the people with their nepotism and political patronage, exemplified by Rep. Tan and her four children running for key local positions as if just business as usual,” said Salas.
“Fr. Salas”, as called by his comrades, also criticized the government officials’ alleged inability to address cases of human rights violations in the province.
“Human rights violations have raged in the province since 2005 under then 8th ID chief, the butcher Gen. Jovito Palparan, but the Tans never condemned [it],” he said.
“They also slammed the door on rights violation victims seeking assistance, as well refused as to aid areas suffering from intense militarization,” Salas said. [CBCPNews]