Army warns politicians who pay NPA to campaign
LUCENA CITY, Philippines – Politicians in the Southern Tagalog region who have been providing financial support to communist New People’s Army (NPA) rebels by paying the so-called “permit to campaign” (PTC) fees would be unmasked and prosecuted before election day, an Army official said Wednesday.
Major General Rhoderick Parayno, commander of the Army’s 2nd Infantry Division, said they already had a list of politicians who support the Maoist-inspired rebels.
“We’re just waiting for the final confirmatory reports from the field. Once we have them, we will submit the names to the Department of the Interior and Local Government. And if it’s ok, we will file the case,” Parayno said.
Payment of PTC fees to NPA rebels is a violation of Republic Act No. 10168, or the Terrorism Financing Prevention and Suppression Act of 2012, according to the military.
The start of the 45-day campaign period for local candidates is on March 29.
Parayno reiterated his warning to candidates on giving money to the rebels.
“If we positively identify these candidates, we will inform the public of their treasonous acts. The people should know the kind of executives they are voting,” Parayno said.
He said candidates who pay PTCs were “contributing to the insurgency problem.”
He revealed that they recently recovered documents and laptops left behind by NPA rebels in encounters that showed not only the list of candidates but also businessmen who give in to the “extortion demands” of the communist guerillas.
According to him, the rebels demand P50,000 to P200,000 per local candidate.
Parayno said they already gave copies of the list, documents and information to Interior Secretary Eduardo Año. /cbb
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