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Eleazar tells men to stop NPA rebs from demanding campaign fees from poll bets

October 6, 2021 Alfred P. Dalizon 308 views

STOP the New People’s Army (NPA) from demanding so-called ‘Permit-to-Campaign Fees’ from candidates in the 2022 national and local elections.

This was the order given on Wednesday by Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, General Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar to all 17 Police Regional Offices and other PNP National Operational Support Units as part of their continuing effort to prevent extortion activities by the NPA during the election period.

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier warned communist rebels and political warlords to stay out of the national and local elections next year stressing that NPA members should be prevented from collecting “permit-to-campaign” fees from politicians.

Security officials said the CPP/NPA was believed to have amassed nearly P196 million from their so-called ‘extortion’ activities during the 2016 and 2018 elections alone.

The rebels are known for demanding the following amount from candidates planning to campaign in areas where they are known to have a large influence: P300,000-P650,000 for governors and vice-governors; P200,000-P500,000 for mayors; and P50,000-P100,000 for barangay officials.

Those who refuse to heed their extortion demands are subjected to harassments or prevented from campaigning in areas in the countryside where they have a considerable presence.

The PNP and the Armed Forces said that frequently being targeted for extortion by the leftist rebels are those running for governor, vice-governor, mayor, vice-mayor, board members and even barangay captains.

“Inaatasan ko ang ating kapulisan na siguraduhing hindi makakaporma itong mga NPA sa kanilang mga extortion activities. Inaasahan na natin na sasamantalahin ng mga ito ang panahon ng eleksyon para makapangikil sa mga tatakbo sa darating na halalan,” Gen. Eleazar said.

“Nagpapaalala rin ako sa mga kakandidato na huwag patulan itong ilegal na gawain ng mga rebeldeng komunista. Sama-sama nating siguraduhin na maging malinis at maayos ang eleksyon sa susunod na taon,” he added.

The top cop likewise said that police would continue its vigilance against communist rebels and other local threat groups before, during and even after the elections. He also assured the public that police are not letting their guards down against these lawless elements.

“Mahigpit naming babantayan simula ngayong filing ng COCs, panahon ng kampanya, aktuwal na botohan, hanggang sa proklamasyon ng mga nanalong kandidato,” he said.

Gen. Eleazar also lauded the Police Regional Office 5 (PRO5) headed by Brigadier Gen. Jonnel C. Estomo and the Armed Forces for the conduct of a joint operation in Sorsogon which led I nteh confiscation of a sizeable amount of NPA war materials last Tuesday.

“I commend our police and military personnel in Bicol region for the successful operation in Sorsogon that resulted in the confiscation of war materials from the CPP-NPA-NDF as part of our intensified campaign not only to end communist insurgency but also in ensuring the peaceful conduct of elections in May next year,” he said.

“Nananatiling isang malaking banta sa eleksyon ang CPP-NPA-NDF kaya inatasan ko na ang ating mga area commanders na lalo pang palakasin ang kampanya laban sa kanila dahil naasahan natin na muli na naman silang mangunguna sa mga extortion activities sa mga kandidato,” Gen. Eleazar added.

The PNP chief also asked for the public’s cooperation and appealed to them to immediately report the presence of suspected NPA rebels or other lawless elements in their areas for prompt action by the PNP.