Army exec says no to ‘permit-to-campaign’ fee demand from NPA in Southern Luzon | Inquirer News

Army exec says no to ‘permit-to-campaign’ fee demand from NPA in Southern Luzon

By: - Correspondent / @dtmallarijrINQ
/ 02:25 PM May 06, 2022
Cops say no to 'permit-to-campaign' fee demand from NPA in Southern Luzon

New People’s Army (NPA) | INQUIRER.net file photo

LUCENA CITY––With two days left before the May 9 elections, no candidates in Southern Luzon have reported being asked to pay “permit-to-campaign” or PTC fees by the communist rebels, a military official said Thursday.

In an interview Thursday. Col. Dennis Cana, public information officer of the Armed Forces Southern Luzon Command (Solcom), said they have not monitored any report of collections of PTC by the “legal fronts” of the New People’s Army (NPA) during this election season.

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Cana earlier said this could be due to mass surrenders of rebels that led to their group being “disorganized.”

“Hopefully, there will be more surrenderers,” Cana said as he appealed for public help and support in maintaining peace and order during the elections.

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He added: “Please immediately inform the authorities if there are sightings of NPA rebels in their areas.”

In the past elections, the target candidates often received communication from alleged communist guerrillas asking them to settle their PTC fees in exchange for uninterrupted campaign activities inside areas that the rebels consider their strongholds.

The rebels reportedly demanded not only cash but also f

ood, rice, medicine, communication equipment, and even firearms.

CPP denial

But the Communist Party of the Philippines has repeatedly denied that the NPA, its military arm, is collecting PTC fees.

The non-collection of PTC was confirmed by at least three reelectionist local officials in the province.

A candidate asserted that no one from the camp of the communist rebels had approached him to demand a PTC fee.

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Another mayor said: “I just ignored that PTC in the past. But other candidates in our locality have yet to receive an NPA letter or message this time”.

A local chief executive now seeking his last term admitted that he once gave in to the rebel’s demand.

“But that was the first and last. If they ask again this time, I will just laugh at them, ” he said.

The three have requested to speak on condition of anonymity for fear of rebel’s reprisal.

Government peace-keeping forces, composed of 16,166 personnel from the police, military, fire, and Coast Guard, have been tasked with maintaining peace and order in Calabarzon in the May 9 elections.

In the Bicol region, at least 11,974 state forces have been deployed to different towns and cities in the six provinces for the duration of the electoral exercise.

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TAGS: communist rebels, Elections 2022, Permit to Campaign, PTC, Southern Luzon
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