AFP offers poll bets security, protection from NPA extortion
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Thursday offered security to political candidates who may be extorted by communist rebels belonging to the New People’s Army (NPA), the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines.
“Pag may lumapit sa kanila na mga kumukuha ng [permit to campaign] fee, they just have to coordinate with us and we will provide area security,” AFP public affairs office chief Col. Noel Detoyato said.
(If they are approached to pay a permit-to-campaign fee, they have to coordinate with us and we will provide area security.)
The military is accusing communist rebels of extorting money from local and national candidates with “permit to campaign” and “permit to win” fees, especially in far-flung areas.
“Ang AFP naman nag-sesecure sa area so para malaman natin kung saan ang punta nila at magkaroon ng area security (The AFP will secure the area so we know where they are going),” the AFP official said.
The NPA allegedly extorts hundreds of millions of pesos from political candidates during elections, which they reportedly use to buy firearms and ammunition.
“They threaten candidates kaya we have to be serious na makipag coordinate sila sa amin. Kasi iyong mga rebelde na iyan kumukuha iyan ng lakas ng loob at tibay ng dibdib sa armas na hawak nila. Kung wala yang armas hindi naman siya maglalakas loob na mag-threaten sa isang tao,” Detoyato said.
(They threaten candidates so we have to be serious in encouraging candidates to coordinate with us. Those rebels draw courage from their firearms. If they don’t have guns, they won’t be bold enough to threaten other people.) /ee
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