LUCENA CITY—The head of the military’s Southern Luzon Command (Solcom) said communist rebels are laying the groundwork for control of remote areas in the country by fielding candidates in the barangay elections next month.
Lt. Gen. Caesar Ronnie Ordoyo, Solcom chief, said villagers should be on alert for candidates being fielded by the rebels.
Ordoyo said soldiers had been monitoring rebels who are now coordinating with candidates who would be fielded in the coming barangay elections.
He said the military has evidence pointing to the murder allegedly by the rebels of village officials who refuse to support the revolutionary movement.
A member of a nongovernment organization in Quezon supported Ordoyo’s information. The rebels, said the source who asked not to be identified for security reasons, said the rebels are fielding candidates in the Bondoc Peninsula, which used to be controlled by the rebels.
The source, however, said candidates supported by rebels are not likely to win as more and more villagers are starting to resent them.
“The people now want to live in peace,” said the source.
Ordoyo asked people to reject candidates being supported covertly by the New People’s Army (NPA).
“We ask the community to reject the communist NPA and install political leaders who will lead us into our fight against poverty and corruption and help us end insurgency in our country,” Ordoyo said.